Madcoaster ($0.99) by Chillingo Ltd is a variation of an endless running game that takes place on a speeding roller coaster. The goal, of course, is to get as far as possible for the highest score, while fulfilling objectives.
The endless running genre is oversaturated, to say the least, so new entries need to be spectacular to make a splash. Does this game fulfill that requirement? No, not really, but it does have a few features that make it a fun and worthwhile download.
I like the roller coaster theme, especially because this is no ordinary coaster. For one thing, it’s super fast, and for another, there are major breaks in the track that you need to jump to prevent everyone from falling to their doom.
There are also birds and an assortment of animals littering the tracks (including giant air-breathing blowfish). You might think the goal would be to avoid the poor creatures, but no, you’re instructed to mow them down and smash them into bits.
Unfortunately, because there’s nothing to avoid (you only need to deal with jumps) this game is overly simplistic and too easy. I don’t think it stacks up to more challenging (and more interesting) games like FANTASYxRUNNERS and Jetpack Joyride.
The game does have a series of objectives that you need to fulfill to advance and improve your coaster, such as travel a certain distance or squish a set number of birds. Fulfilling these increases your level and changes the look of your roller coaster. There are also the standard power ups - a magnet for gathering coins, a speed boost, and a rocket pack that sends your coaster up in the air for a short period of time.
Coins that you gather on the track are used for score only, which was disappointing. I was hoping to use the coins I gathered to unlock new game components, but instead, there’s no incentive for me to go out of my way to grab them.
There are Game Center achievements and leaderboards, plus the graphics are decent. If you get far enough in the game you can unlock both an extra life and new themes, or you can spend a bit of extra cash to get them early.
If you’re a fan of endless runners, or if you’re looking for a casual game that’s not too difficult (maybe for kids?), Madcoaster is a good choice, thanks to its fun theme and simple gameplay.