F1 2010 Game (iPad)
Developer: Jump Games
Price: $3 (Rs 140 approx)
Developed by Indian mobile gaming house Jump Games, F1 2010 Game takes on the Herculean task of selling the F1 franchise - a preserve of simulation junkies - to the casual iOS audience. While buying the outdated 2010 licence from Codemasters' F1 series is relatively cheaper, that's still a huge risk considering it's used in a $3 game meant for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. This is possible for the most part because Jump Games is backed by Reliance Big Entertainment, which has a 50% stake in Codemasters. Let's see if the F1 branding does this game any good.
Graphics And Sound
Thanks to the F1 2010 licence, you get a full roster of 24 drivers, 12 teams, and 19 circuits featured in the 2010 season. This includes current champion Sebastian Vettel and former champions Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, and Fernando Alonso.
Like its PC and console cousins, the iOS version has decent sound effects. The banshee wail of the engine is faithfully reproduced, but the commentary is limited to the pit crew barking out performance reports. The graphics are quite bland and suffer from considerable aliasing, sparse track detail, low-res textures, and low-poly models. This game looks more in the league of a Nintendo DS title.
The touch control scheme is impossible unless you have a third limb.
Eye candy is secondary to gameplay in my book. I frankly wouldn't have cared about the graphics if Jump Games had leveraged the platform's touch controls for a fun experience. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I tested the game on the iPad and found handling to be abysmal, despite three different control options on offer.
The first setup requires you steer the car with two thumbs on either side of the iPad. Acceleration is automatic (read always on) and you can brake using the third hand. Yes, you will need an extra limb, especially for the the iPad verson, since the other two are busy minding the Left \ Right touch buttons. It seems the developers didn't factor in the iPad at all while making this game.
Dragging the virtual steering wheel to turn is rather imprecise.
The second control scheme allows you to manipulate a virtual steering wheel with your thumb, along with touch controls for throttle and braking. This was lot more more manageable in comparison, but unresponsive nonetheless. I then moved onto the tilt steering option, which utilises the iPad's gyroscope. After the initial episodes of disorientation, I found an option that allowed the display to counter-tilt the screen in order to keep the horizon flat at all times. This implementation may not be elegant, but it works reasonably well. Unlike the popular Asphalt
games, F1 2010's motion controls are over-sensitive, but they get the job done. A few hours later, I managed to get a hang of the controls and even had a fair bit of fun in the process.
Motion controls are over-sensitive, but manageable.
There Is No Race!
However, there's only so much you can do in this game. Despite being a licensed F1 title, Jump Games didn't deem it fit to include a proper race mode. Time Trial
s and Endurance
modes, where you strive for the best average time, are the only options available. Offline Party
(muliplayer) modes and submitting your times to an online leaderboard provide some variation to the affair. However, that provides no succour to the Time Trial boredom.
The very fun of F1 lies in slipstreaming and overtaking manoeuvres, while for some it involves causing a 10 car pileup at Copse
. The iOS platform is meant for casual gamers and I doubt if any would be interested in the precise art of racing against the clock. I am a sucker for such modes, but it's rather pointless due to the poor controls and a basic physics engine. A fun racing mode, if implemented well, would have added some substance for casual gamers. F1 2010, then, is a lost opportunity for Jump Games.
There is no race.Gameplay/Design: