Epic Coaster

By: Mandy J Watson
Posted: 18 January 2013
Category: Reviews
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The rollercoaster ride of your life is calling but do you have the skill the keep the coaster, and its crazy thrill-seeking occupants, on the track while thumping music elevates your heart rate and cheering crowds pop up to distract you? Probably not - but give it a try anyway.

Epic CoasterIf you're tired of trying to outrun the sun (or a laser), how about a doomed ride on a rollercoaster where, once again, the only certainty is death (but while you're getting there you can rack up some serious points)?

I can't say why anyone would want to be strapped into the epic coaster but there they are, in all their pixelated glory, with you in charge. This rollercoaster has a very special ability: it can jump, which is rather a necessity as you'll quickly discover that the track is in pieces and jumping from one to the next is the only way to stay alive. It's a whole new type of platform jumper game.

Control wise this is an untaxing one-button game: hit the spacebar (or click the left mouse button but it's not as responsive) and the coaster jumps. You can control the length of the jump (up to a maximum) by how long you hold down the key. There's no acceleration or deceleration, brakes, shields, pickups, magically manifesting track pieces, or wormholes. It's just you, at a constant speed and at a fixed point on the screen, timing jumps as the foreground and background scroll past you.

Epic Coaster

Stress wise, however, it's a very different story. If you're lucky, or you play this enough to become accustomed to the visual surprises, you can get into a zone that tunes out all the distractions but if not you'll soon find your attention broken by something happening on screen. Then you'll make a mistake timing a jump, which will send the rollercoaster hurtling off the track and into oblivion. (The moment comes complete with the sound of screaming passengers, just to add to the mayhem. Don't feel bad, though - they were stupid to be on the rollercoaster in the first place. It was never going to end well.)

The graphics are simple but lovely. The game - including the title screen - constantly and systematically cycles smoothly through day, evening, night, and morning, which is a fantastic touch. During the day the list of distractions includes skydivers, fly-by planes (complete with a pop-up cheering crowd in the foreground to enjoy them), and birds that flee the track as you approach. At night fireworks explode in the sky and "magic sparkles" twinkle and drift off the track as you pass over them. Distractions that can appear at any time of day include other types of fun-fair rides in the foreground and background and a camera on the track that flashes as it takes a photo of the occupants of the rollercoaster.

Epic Coaster

Most of these distractions are worth points (presumably awarded because you have successfully passed by them without falling off the track) and you can also score points by performing a perfect jump, which comprises timing your jump so that the lead car lands on the edge of the next section of the track. If you perform successive perfect jumps you are awarded a combo bonus each time.

As this is an Armor Games game there are, of course, a long list of achievements to unlock. As you do so they contribute percentage points to a base-score multiplier that affects all the points-scoring mechanisms in the game, so the more you play the higher your score is capable of going. Most achievements will unlock, in time, with no concerted effort on your part just as you play the game but a few will require some skill and strategic playing, which will either feel frustrating or help to sharpen your jumping and timing abilities, depending on what sort of gamer you are.

Playing Epic Coaster never feels boring - perhaps because most attempts don't last more than a minute and the occasional chaos on the screen is surprisingly delightful - and there's always the challenge to try to go further, last longer, and score more points. Good luck with that.


Tags: #games





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brainwavez.org Opinion
Rating: 7/10
Time-Wasting Value: 30 seconds to a few minutes per game
Learning Curve: Easy
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Replayability: 8/10



Key Facts: Epic Coaster
Price: Free
Published: 2 August 2010
Genre: Action
Keywords: action, casual, one button, side scroller
Resolution: 650x360
Requirements: Internet connection, Adobe Flash Player, web browser, keyboard
Credits:
Publisher: Armor Games
Programming: Killian Koenig



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