Hitch a ride with GI Joyride

Posted: April 26, 2009 in Racer

GI Joyride deserves 5 stars just for trying to add some humor to WWII, but the devs go beyond that to provide a good dose of creativity resulting in a uniquely entertaining experience.  The animations and graphics are high quality as are the mechanics and physics used, and you’ll see that as you drive through the various terrains while being attacked by planes, turrets and Nazis.

Morbidly funny is the how the APC either sends Nazis running away screaming or getting run over and screaming.  And, when you make a jump, your driver sticks his head out of the hatch to hoot and holler, which brings a smile each time I play.  The animations which include planes flying overhead and structures along the roads, rooftops and bunkers are detailed and give GI Joyride a polished look.  With this, a funny back story also exists as you’re a military man looking to get away for shore leave at any cost, which in this case involves a driving an APC.  The controls are simple: tap the left side to brake, tap the right side throttle, tilt to maneuver.  There’s also a little level symbol at top that shows the degree of tilt.

The challenge of GI Joyride is not in simply staying on course, rather it’s in staying upright, making/landing jumps, and doing flips, while maintaining enough momentum to travel as far as you can.  A little timer with a count of 5 appears as you flip which tells you how much time you can stay flipped over before exploding.

Initially, I thought the “on rails” aspect of the game would be limiting, but it’s not.  In fact, this works well for GI Joyrider.  Here’s a tip: when making jumps, throttle up as much as you can for distance, take your finger off the throttle when you’re in the air, and as you land, hit the throttle again; this prevents your APC from overflipping.  As mentioned, the physics are spot on because the lack of momentum can mean the end as much as too much throttle.  GI Joyride has a fun statistics page that covers things you would expect: distance traveled, average speed; and things that only these devs came up with: best wheelie, best flip combo, total flips.  The Options adds to the humor because of the customizations you can choose from which include whether you want blood, screaming or even Nazis.  It’s obvious the devs gave a good deal of thought to the details of GI Joyride, and it shows in the visuals and gameplay.  Unlike other games in the genre, GI Joyride does not have a time trial setting, which when you think about it, makes sense… joyrides don’t have time limits.

The devs plan to add new vehicles, terrains and obstacles to the game as well as more of a combat element where your vehicle can shoot back at enemy planes and obstacles, which would only further differentiate GI Joyride.  It’s entertaining with a strong dose of humor…can’t ask for anything more than that.

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