Review: Adventures of Pip

Adventures of Pip
555 MB
Available On
Wii U [Reviewed]
Release Date
June 4th, 2015
Single Player

Adventures of Pip is a 2D side-scrolling platformer from Tic Toc games, an independent developer. The game was a Kickstarter project; it was backed by 2,578 people and racked in $65,974. It’s a throwback and takes gameplay elements from classic 8 and 16-bit games. In Pixel Kingdome, each character is made up of pixels. The less pixels you have, the less you are worth. Some characters have faces that have no features at all, like from an old 8-bit Nintendo game. Meanwhile the rich and mighty have 16-bit faces with eyes, mouths, etc. However, everyone is still happy, the land is prosperous and they love their King and Queen. However, a witch named Queen DeRezzia has kidnapped Princess Adeline, who possesses amazing powers. Derezzia uses the princesses’ powers to create havoc and reign supreme over the land. It’s up to Pip, a lowly little pixel, to save the day.

Pip has very unique powers, he can harness the bitsteam. In the first level of the game you happen across an old ghostly knight who awakens Pip’s skills. When Pip jumps on a specific type of enemy, ones created by DeRezzia herself, he can evolve into an 8-bit version of himself. This version can run faster, attack enemies with punches, and most importantly wall jump! However, single pixel version of Pip is far from useless. He can jump higher off of mushroom springs and float slower, thus jump further, across platforms and into secrets. He’s also the shortest version, which means sneaking into small crevasses for goodies or passageways. Once the third world starts, Pip can evolve again into a 16-bit version of himself. This version can’t wall jump or even jump of off the mushroom springs, he’s too big and bulky. Nevertheless he can push heavy boulders and does wield a sword, which has the ability slice through rocks and is great at killing bad dudes.

To evolve from a single pixel to 8-bit and then 16-bit, Pip must kill a glowing blue enemy who has bitstream flowing through it. Pip instantly evolves once he kills one of them. To “devolve” backwards, for the sake of a platforming jump of a secret for example, you can simply hold the button down and Pip will go back to his lesser pixely form. Also when he does “devolve” a little explosion comes out of Pip; killing very nearby enemies and destroying pink colored blocks that are often in the way of his progression. The levels are designed to take advantage of each of Pip’s form. I was constantly evolving and devolving and it’s a lot of fun. For example there could be a line of pink blocks in the way of a secret passage. So I would need to simply devolve from 8-bit form and the explosion would blow up those pink blocks. Then after squeezing through the tiny tunnel in single pixel form, there could be few bad guys to kill, one of which was connected to the bitstream, which allows me to evolve back into 8-bit form. Now there could be a wall jumping section to get up to a higher spot, where one more bitsream enemy is waiting, once I kill him and go into 16-bit form, I could use the sword to destroy the rocks in my way and get the treasure chest behind it. All of the switching pack and forth feels very natural and not at all overwhelming; the clear differences between each pixilated form of Pip allows for fun gameplay without confusion.

Along with each of Pip’s forms being used for level progression and secrets, the evolution gameplay is also used heavily in platforming, and this is awesome. While controlling Pip I needed to analyze the situation and then quickly change back and forth on the fly to land tricky but enjoyable jump sequences. As the levels go on, the platforming gets more and more challenging, but never too frustrating or overly difficult. A perfect simple example of pulling off all the switches in one event happens in the very first level you unlock Pip’s 16-bit form. To jump high enough, I needed to first be in single bit form and jump off of a mushroom spring. Once launched in the air, I could land on top of a floating bitstream enemy, which evolved me into 8-bit form. Instantly after bouncing off of that enemy I needed to hug the wall and wall jump right off of it to jump far enough to land on the next floating bitstream enemy. Once I landed and bounced off of that bitstream enemy, I changed into 16 bit form and had to immediately slice away a rock wall that was blocking the platform to get to the next area. As soon as I performed all of this for the first time, I realized the special style of gameplay in Adventures of Pip. It’s unique and seriously cool. I wish the game had more of these brilliant platforming jumps, if the entire game was that alone, I’d be happy. The quick switch puzzley type platforming is what sets the game apart from the average throwback platformer.

Developer Tic Toc also made some smart moves when it comes to the design. One of those smart choices was how they handled enemy respawns. If you kill a normal enemy, he dies and doesn’t return, unless you leave the ”screen” and come back into that room. You won’t need to do that often, so not allowing the enemies to respawn instantly makes sense, while still giving the option to bring them back once you leave the screen and return makes sense too. Conversely, bitstream enemies DO respawn. In just a few seconds after killing one, the bitsream enemy will come back to life, almost like a dry bones from Mario. Why is this so important? It allows the player to take chances and test out little theories when it comes to the evolving and devolving puzzle type moments. Let’s say I had to get to the top of the platform, and to do so I needed to evolve Pip a few times in very specific ways. Well, I can just go for it and play while having epiphanies on the run without the fear of totally screwing it up. Because it I did mess up, those bitstream baddies will just reappear and I can have another go. But if they didn’t and I killed the bitsteam enemies without making it to the top of the platform, then what would I do? I’d have to kill myself or run backwards to “reset” the screen. The frustration of having to do that would be a major turnoff. Not only that, it would have changed the way I played. Instead of letting the game feel free and natural, and allowing for minor mistakes, I’d be forced to play the game slow and get seriously annoyed every time I missed a jump. How much would Portal have sucked if the blocks you had to place never respawned or if you had to get a new gun every time you took a couple shots? A lot! It might seem like a simple thing to do, but it could have been easily missed. And the fact that Tic Toc made normal enemies NOT respawn while bitsream enemies DO tells me that they thought hard, tested the game, and developed the game correctly in a pivotal moment.

Tic Toc also made the game a lot of fun to explore. Each level is filled with secrets. Walls you can go through, tough platforming high spots that utilize the different Pip’s jumps, and hidden places that can be opened up with the each pixilated form are everywhere in the game. Some of the secrets have chests with money; other secrets have civilians to save. Every level has three civilians that need saving, and finding all of them is the perfect mix of challenging without being daunting. And the gameplay is just fun enough that I always wanted to see what walls were hiding what and which leaps of faith could take me where. There is also a hub world, the town, that gets more and more filled the more civilians you save; I thought this was a really cool extra touch. The town also has shops, which can only be unlocked once you save the shopkeeper civilian of that specific shop in the levels. One shop may specialize in potions or heart pieces. Another shop could give you special armor to allow for less health to be lossed when hit by a bad guy. Some of these things are extremely over priced, there are single use items that show you if the screen has hidden stuff, but for the cost it’s not worth it. Meanwhile saving up for another heart piece or more armor is totally worth it. It just sucks that it takes so long to save up that money. The average level will give you 300-500 pixels, the games currency. But the shop items themselves, at least the ones worth buying, cost 3k-5k pixels. With 5 world and 8 levels in each, you can only really buy a handful of those good items on your first playthrough.

Speaking of the worlds and levels, this is an area that could have used a bit more work. The lava and castle type levels later in the game look really cool. But the first few worlds are lacking. The first world is a forest, the second is a swamp. And they are far too similar. Each level in each world usually didn’t have enough diversity either, every level looks the same. It would have helped, for example, if say the forest level had a level that looked like it followed a river, another level that seemed to be deep inside a massive tree, or other cool places that totally would fit in a forest world. As opposed to every level in the forest world kind of just looking like the same green forest with minor changes.

The graphics overall don’t impress. Of course it’s a classic 8/16-bit game. But I’ve seen many of those that totally blow me away. The enemy design, the world and levels visual design all seem flat. There aren’t too many wow moments to the eyes. There’s nothing visually distracting either, it’s just maybe too simple. One thing about the graphics that is really cool is the maintained art-style throughout the different pixelated characters. It’s interesting that an 8-bit character with little detail can still look unique and can fit into the world right along side a fully detailed 16-bit character. The music also seems out of place. At times it sounds really awesome, but more fitting for a classic Japanese rpg or that kind of game. It doesn’t really fit with the visual style or gameplay. Overall the music gets a bit monotonous.

The boss battles at the end of the eighth level in every world are underwhelming. They seem less about skill and fun flowing gameplay and more about trial by error. They also just aren’t enjoyable to fight. Instead of creating bosses where the goal was to jump on its head three times typical Mario style, why not have running bosses or collapsing levels where Pip needs to evolve and devolve fast through the levels and make it to the exit alive. That would fit the gameplay much better in my opinion.

Adventures of Pip is a fun game. The second to second gameplay is distinctive and exciting. My favorite moments were when I was forced to use all of Pip’s different pixel versions in one awesome platforming sequence. I honestly wish there were many more of these. The bosses could be dropped from the game and it would probably benefit, although a new climax would be needed instead. The text between the characters is filled with chuckles, as the humor often revolves around making fun of Pip’s single pixel form or pixel related puns. The graphics and music are fine, but if the game had a more distinctive and beautiful art style it would have propelled Pip to newer heights for sure. Secrets are plentiful, but buying stuff in the stores just costs too much. Overall evolving and devolving to make jumps, find secrets, and eventually save the princess and Pixel Land is a whole lot of fun; Tic Toc should be proud.

1) Unique new evolve/devolve gameplay
2) Packed with secrets
3) Good ol’ fun

1) Weak boss fights
2) Bland graphics



Contest: Rare Replay First To Complete

30 games with 10,000 gs? That screams a First to Complete Contest right.

Even if you don’t think you can top 3 make sure to join as I’ll do some giveaways and contests just for people on this leaderboard!

$100 prize pool to start. $50 to 1st, $30 to 2nd, $20 to 3rd
Can’t earn achievements before official launch
Glitched/Broken achievements will be dealt with as they are discovered

Current launch date: Aug 4th

Just to confirm this race is for the 10k gs only, not all 30 titles since it appears 9 of the titles will just be the 360 versions via backwards compatibility with their original GS.

We are hosting a leaderboard over at Check it out HERE. It’s free to sign up and once the contest has started we’ll keep track of everyone’s progress over here on

Review: LEGO Jurassic World

LEGO Jurassic World
Digital and Retail
12.58 GB
Available On
Xbox ONE [Reviewed], 360, PS4, PS3
Release Date
Traveller’s Tales
Warner Bros. Interactive
Single Player and Local Co-op

LEGO Jurassic World is the latest LEGO game from Traveller’s Tales and if you’ve played ANY LEGO GAME EVER, then you are as prepared for LEGO Jurassic World as Bounty Paper Towels are prepared for a small liquid spill and that’s pretty damn prepared. People complain that COD or Battlefield make a game every single year but I think one of the first things Goldman Sachs’ uses as a indication that the global economy is about to implode is if there are not at least 3 LEGO games released in a year and they’ve been coming out that way since the start of time. I believe I remember a section in the Bible where Jesus and Moses are playing LEGO: BC and getting mad because they are trying to destroy 3 Gold Cow Idols for a Red Brick but haven’t unlocked Noah yet so they don’t have the correct ability.

All LEGO games have the exact same 2 things going for them. The first is the start of the game’s name is LEGO and the second is the last part of the game’s name is some other insanely popular franchise with about a million raving fan-boys. And it’s a formula that works so god-bless their cookie cutter hearts and I hope they keep making them for a million more years.

That’s not to say that nothing ever changes in LEGO games. It’s more like they are not especially aggressive at adding new features. Traveller’s Tales sits down to start working on the next installment and Bob says, “How about we add these 2 things.” and everyone at the table applauds him and they get up to move on with development. Well George thinks he has 2 more things that would make it great also but too late George, someone already said 2 things and we don’t want to look like some kind of crazy dev that does more than 2 new things a game do we? The answer is no, no we do not.

A LEGO game isn't complete without a ton of random abilities!

A LEGO game isn’t complete without a ton of random abilities!

Of the two things they actually changed for LEGO Jurassic World the biggest and most welcome for me is that in the character select screen it clearly and precisely notes each and every character’s abilities. No more trying to remember who can break fuchsia colored bricks vs light-fuchsia colored bricks or some other nonsense. Another bonus is if the ability you need is sitting right there as character two, they give you a quite large hit Y to switch to him and try again. If no one in your party can do it they give you a headshot pic so you can try to figure out how to acquire them and come back later.

But there are also the same types of glitches that have never been fixed or even acknowledged. I can’t get through a LEGO game, and Jurassic World was no exception, without several characters getting permanently stuck in something. This always leaves you with only one option. To quit the entire level and try to start again. How hard would it be to code a reset position option in the menu? It would help my blood pressure immensely.

The main story consists of 20 levels covering all 4 movies. The levels follow the movies in pretty accurate detail expect with a more comedy minded outcome to some of the more tense movie situations. The cutscenes in LEGO Jurassic World are all played out with the actual audio tracks from the movies and 90% of the time they sound crisp and clean. There were a few lines though that sound like they were pulled from a VHS copy that had been stored in garbage dumpster out behind a Long John Silvers.

There are the now typical 250 Gold Bricks to acquire. Most of these are pretty straight forward and I was happy to see them move away from the insane number of fetch quests that made LEGO Lord of Rings so tedious. There are Workers in Peril and humorous photos to take. Races to be won. Sick Dinosaurs to heal. This isn’t just get the Gold Bricks to get all the Gold bricks. There are actual fun activities to do. All of these are short puzzles located in the same area and a new in-game map system shows the general locations of everything you need to accomplish. When it works. Again this is a LEGO game, glitches are to be expected. Some Gold Bricks simply didn’t make the cut for the map and hunting down your last few through the games many many many locations can become a chore. The new map system also allows for fast travel not only between story missions but hub locations which is a much appreciated new feature.

Oh, and yeah, you get to the be the Dinosaurs. During the story missions you’ll take control to win battles and bust open new areas and in the hub / free roam areas they are selectable just like characters for the smaller dino and they have large strategically placed dino pads to bring in large dinos like the T. rex. So if you want to run amok with a Velociraptor then go for it! Storm around and trash things as a T. rex? Yep you can do that too.

Dinosaurs! You can play as LEGO Dinosaurs!

Dinosaurs! You can play as LEGO Dinosaurs!

Even though at it’s core this is the same LEGO game that has been made for the last 20 years, the abilities and story are always unique to the franchise they are covering. Traveller’s Tales has a knack for taking material that is decidedly non-kid friendly and making it true to the original while making it accessible and enjoyable to the masses. I’d love to see what they would do with a LEGO Scarface. If you like LEGO, or you like Jurassic World, or you just like fun family friendly adventure games then you should absolutely give LEGO Jurassic World a play.

1) Strong story
2) Easily accessible and always fun

1) Same glitches as previous LEGO games



Review: BADLAND: GOTY Edition

$11.99 / £9.59
0.26 GB
Available On
Xbox ONE [Reviewed], PS4, PS3, PS Vita and Steam
Release Date
Frogmind, Blitworks & Frozenbyte
Single Player. Local Co-op, Local Multiplayer

A lot of people will probably be aware of BADLAND before it ventured onto the Xbox One because of its huge success on the tablet platform. I am not one of those people, so I came into BADLAND with no expectations what-so-ever.

BADLAND is described as a side scrolling adventure with physics based gameplay. You control a bat like creature called Clony. Clony has the unique ability to create clones of himself by picking up clone power-ups during the levels and without them, you wont be surviving long at all. You are tasked with getting Clony and as many of his clones through each level alive.

Save as many as you can.

Save as many as you can.

You control Clony by tapping or holding the ‘A’ button by making him fly. If you let go of the A button, Clony descends. It took me a while to get used to the physics of the flying but once you’ve got it down the controls work really well giving you a surprising amount of precision, which is definitely needed later on. This really gave it a flappy bird feel with some of the obstacles, but the flying similarities is where it ends.

The single player element to the game has 100 levels to fly through and they are split up into 4 sections, Day I, Daydream, Day II and Doomsday. Each level has an element of danger involved for Clony to avoid. These dangers range from falling rocks to dangerous traps. To help get Clony through the traps, the clone power-up is essential. For the majority of traps you’re only going to be able to make it through alive by sacrificing a large number of your clones. There are many instances in the game where you have to go in two or three separate directions to progress. As an example, in one level, there is a part where you have to send clones to press two different buttons so the barriers open for the surviving clones.

Danger everywhere!

Danger everywhere!

Cloning isn’t the only power-up littered throughout the levels. Other power-ups in the game that can be picked include ones that slow the level down, speeds it up, increases and decreases Clony’s size. These power-ups play a huge part in the game. If you aren’t paying attention to the upcoming obstacle or trap, there is a big chance you are going to die because you didn’t pick up the relevant power-up. Even from the beginning this is a huge part of the game. You need to increase your size to be big enough to move a stick out of your way, then small enough to fit through a tiny gap. For the most part the necessary power-ups are placed in easy to reach areas as you progress through the levels, but there are times when you have to be choosy with which ones to pick up, especially the speed up ones.

With BADLAND being a side-scroller you get an added urgency to the game. If you take too long to progress through an obstacle or trap, the screen keeps on moving and destroys your clones. No more clones on the screen equals gameover. Dying in BADLAND is a given. You’re going to die and you’re going to die a lot. This is where some of the levels can be extremely frustrating. For the majority of the game, the checkpoints given are pretty generous. If you die from a certain trap, you’ll be placed just before the trap so you can go again. However, there are several levels you have to do in one try. None of the one try levels are long, but some of them are nigh on impossible to finish in one try without a lot of trial and error. One of the latter such levels comes to mind where every obstacle I ended up dying and retrying because I kept going the wrong way. The screen moves so fast in some instances, unless you know where you need to go before you get there, you aren’t going to survive. To add to the frustration level, there are many traps that you can only get through with some pretty precise flying. If you keep your cool throughout playing BADLAND then I salute you.

Each level has three missions to complete which usually revolve around dying less than ‘x’ amount of times, saving ‘x’ amount of clones or picking up / not picking up certain power-ups. There are other types of missions, but these make up the majority. Along with these missions being tracked at the end of each level you also have a counter for the number of clones you’ve saved. You can retry each level at any time to try and increase how many clones you saved.

Something I found to be a bit strange was the lack of any sort of story to follow. I assumed there would be some sort of cutscene or something just to give the gamers some more information. I was a bit concerned that I would struggle to stay engaged with it and I’d consider it to be more of a time waster that I could pick up and play for 5 minutes. After playing it for several hours I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was pulled in by the stunning art work and visuals. As you can see from the screenshots, the environment you play in and Clony are black, like shadows and it reminded me very much of Limbo. The backdrops of each level are stunning and vibrant, which really offsets against the shadows brilliantly.



Along with the single player, BADLAND also offers offline co-op and multiplayer modes for up to 4 players. The co-op mode features the same 100 levels from single player but you each control your own character, giving each level a fresh look. At first I was a bit skeptical at having the same levels in co-op, but doing them in co-op completely changes the way the levels play. Co-op play is probably the best mode BADLAND has to offer and it is a real shame there are no online capabilities because a lot of gamers simply don’t have a local co-op partner to enjoy this mode with. The multiplayer pits you against each other rather than working together. It features 27 stages for you to choose from to battle it out. Again, this mode is really entertaining but could have been so much more accessible as an online feature too.

Save as many as you can.

Everything is better with friends.

Onto the achievements for BADLAND and this list is not one for the feint hearted. You’re going to need to save 3000 clones in single and multiplayer, complete 300 missions in single and muliplayer, completing 80 unique levels without dying as well as doing specific things during certin levels. After finishing all 100 single player levels, I saved roughly 800 clones, so unless you are extremely gifted at this game, you are going to be replaying the levels over and over to increase the amount of clones you have saved. I definitely wouldn’t say to avoid BADLAND because of the achievements list, just be aware of it if you are a completionist, especially if you don’t have anyone to help you out with the local co-op.

BADLAND doesn’t really have a story to follow, but that’s okay. The strong physics based gameplay coupled with the beautifully done visuals more than make up for that. Yes, BADLAND will frustrate you and it really does need some online support because, let’s face it, not everyone has a willing buddy or family member to play with. Even taking those issues into account, BADLAND is a great side-scrolling adventure and I can see why it was so popular on the tablet platform. There might be some people moaning that another mobile game has been ported to the Xbox One and it clearly isn’t ‘next gen’, but BADLAND doesn’t play like a mobile game in the slightest. BADLAND adds to the list that gives gamers another example as to why the ID@Xbox program is so important. It really is bringing great games to the Xbox community and BADLAND is the latest great game.

1) Strong physics based puzzles
2) Plenty of content
3) Great artwork / visuals

1) No online co-op
2) Very frustrating at times



Achievement Guide: LEGO Jurassic World

Welcome To Jurassic Park – 20gs – Complete Prologue

Story Related. First level of the game.

The Calm Before The Storm – 20gs – Complete Welcome To Jurassic Park

Story Related. After finishing the Prologue you can choose to start the Jurassic Park trilogy or play Jurassic World. This is the first level of the Jurassic Park storyline.

Objects In The Mirror – 20gs – Complete Park Shutdown

Story Related. This is the second level of the Jurassic Park storyline.

We’re Being Hunted – 20gs – Complete Restoring Power

Story Related. This is the third level of the Jurassic Park storyline.

Decided Not To Endorse Your Park – 20gs – Complete The Visitor Center

Story Related. This is the fourth and final level of the Jurassic Park storyline.

That’s How It All Starts… – 20gs – Complete Isla Sorna

Story Related. After finishing Jurassic Park, you can start The Lost World. This is the first level of the Lost World storyline.

Mommy’s Very Angry – 20gs – Complete InGen Arrival

Story Related. This is the second level of the Lost World storyline.

Don’t Go Into The Long Grass – 20gs – Complete The Hunted

Story Related. This is the third level of the Lost World storyline.

What About The Others? – 20gs – Complete Communications Center

Story Related. This is the fourth level of the Lost World storyline.

Just Follow The Screams – 20gs – Complete San Diego

Story Related. This is the final level of the Lost World storyline.

Not On InGen’s List – 20gs – Complete Landing Site

Story Related. This is the first level of the Jurassic Park III storyline.

Nobody Move A Muscle – 20gs – Complete The Spinosaurus

Story Related. This is the second level of the Jurassic Park III storyline.

Is This How You Make Dinosaurs? – 20gs – Complete Breeding Facility

Story Related. This is the third level of the Jurassic Park III storyline.

Family Reunion – 20gs – Complete Eric Kirby

Story Related. This is the fourth level of the Jurassic Park III storyline.

Going Home – 20gs – Complete The Bird Cage

Story Related. This is the final level of the Jurassic Park III storyline.

The Park Is Open – 20gs – Complete Welcome To Jurassic World

Story Related. After finishing the Prologue you can choose to start the Jurassic Park trilogy or play Jurassic World. This is the first level of the Jurassic World storyline.

Full Jurassic World Experience – 20gs – Complete Gyrosphere Valley

Story Related. This is the second level of the Jurassic World storyline.

Are You Following The Dinosaur? – 20gs – Complete Out Of Bounds

Story Related. This is the third level of the Jurassic World storyline.

A New Alpha – 20gs – Complete Under Attack

Story Related. This is the fourth level of the Jurassic World storyline.

We Need More Teeth – 20gs – Complete Main Street Showdown

Story Related. This is the final level of the Jurassic World storyline.

65 Million Bricks In The Making – 40gs – Complete All Story Levels
We’re Out Of A Job… – 20gs – Collect all Minikits in any level
… Don’t You Mean Extinct? – 40gs – Collect all Minikits in the game

Went And Made A New Dinosaur – 20gs – Create a custom dinosaur
All I Got Was This T-Shirt – 20gs – Create a custom character
Spared No Expense – 40gs – Collect 65,000,000 studs
Bingo! Dino DNA! – 20gs – Collect an Amber Brick

The Amber Bricks (which there are 1 per level) unlock the dinosaurs. You must collect the one in the Welcome to Jurassic Park at the very end with the Triceratops to finish the level so this is unmissable.

The Legacy of John Hammond – 40gs – Collect All Amber Bricks
Send The Helicopters – 20gs – Rescue all Workers in Peril
Must Go Faster – 20gs – Complete All Races
Observe And Document – 20gs – Complete All Photographs
Next Time It’ll Be Flawless! – 70gs – Achieve 100% Completion
One Big Pile Of Bricks – 20gs – Collect All Red Bricks
Helping Hand – 10gs – Heal A Dinosaur

In Welcome to Jurassic Park you are tasked with healing a Triceratops. You must do this to continue the story. You will be tasked with finding 3 objects to heal the Triceratops.

What Lysine Contingency? – 20gs – Heal all Dinosaurs

Only the 10 Hub area Dinosaurs count toward this achievement.

Jurassic Park – Triceratops Territory
Jurassic Park – Dilophosaurus Territory
Jurassic Park – Gallimimus Territory
Lost World – Hunting Plains
Lost World – Long Grass
Lost World – Ankylosaurus Territory
Jurassic Park III – Safari Plains
Jurassic World – East Boardwalk
Jurassic World – Gyroshpere Valley
Jurassic World – Shady Grove

Something Has Survived – 20gs – Obtain ”True Survivor” in any level
Survival Expert – 40gs – Collect ”True Survivor” on all levels
Reason To Fear Man – 10gs – Defeat 50 Compy Goons
We Want To Be Thrilled – 10gs – Place a custom Dinosaur in a Paddock
The Concept Of Attraction – 10gs – Enable Stud Magnet Red Brick
Not Machine Compatible – 10gs – Try to use a hacker terminal as Alan Grant

The computers in the Visitor Center Control Room count. The ones that look like real computers. Do this in Free Play.

Pack Hunter – 10gs – Set both Free Play characters as Raptors

You get the Amber for Velociraptors in the Restoring Power mission. Once you have them set both players any of the Raptors and the achievement will unlock.

Anybody want a Soda? – 10gs – As Dennis Nedry, throw a soda can at another character

You must obviously have a Nedry as your character.
You can get one for free using the code: RAVKRT. Otherwise he costs 100,000 and is unlocked during Welcome to Jurassic Park.
You can not aim at your fellow partner so load up InGen Arrival to Camp Sabotage and throw a Soda at one of the human enemies.

Remember To Wash Your Hands – 10gs – Complete a Dropping Rummage

You will be forced to do about a 100 of these during the Story Mode so no worries. This is when Ellie or anyone with the Rummage ability looks through droppings for clues and items. The first time in game you will do this is when you are trying to heal the Triceratops in Welcome to Jurassic Park.

Do-You-Think-He-Saurus? – 10gs – Sneak past a Dinosaur using Camoflauge

You are forced to do this with Owen in the Welcome to Jurassic World story mission near the end of the mission.

Clever Goal – 10gs – As a Velociraptor, score a goal in the Jurassic World Petting Zoo

Hello John! – 10gs – Set both Free Play characters as John Hammond (or variant of him)

John Hammond is unlocked for FREE after completing The Visitor Center in the Jurassic Park storyline. There is also a PAID version you can unlock when you finish the first mission of the Lost World campaign. Simply make both characters John Hammond and the achievement will unlock. This is a homage to John’s character talking to his video self in Jurassic Park. Like the multi-billionaire was going to be there to start every single tour himself.

Building Blocks Of Life – 10gs – Build a LEGO object using Mr. DNA

Mr. D.N.A. is unlocked by finishing all the story missions. He costs 500,000. After buying him load up and missions and use Mr. D.N.A. to build a buildable.

The Human Piece Of Toast – 10gs – Give Timmy a shock

For this you need Timmy (FREE after Restoring Power) and any character listed as “Can jump-start LEGO Generators). We will be using Handler Ellis who is acquired for FREE after Welcome to Jurassic World. Now simply hit Timmy with Handler Ellis’ shock rod and the achievement will unlock. Apparently it’s too un-PC to shock a child so you won’t get to see the shock animation.

Achievement Guide: Payday 2: Crimewave Edition

Coming in Hot – 15gs – On day 1 of the Watchdogs job, don’t let the cops shoot and destroy the escape vehicle.
Fish A.I. – 15gs – On day 2 of the Watchdogs job, throw a loot bag into the sea, hoping fish move away as it gets near.

F in Chemistry – 15gs – On day 1 of the Rats job, blow up the lab.
Caribbean Pirate – 15gs – On day 2 of the Rats job, bring additional meth bags to the trade, but steal your payment instead.
Doctor Fantastic – 15gs – On day 2 of the Big Oil job, complete the heist with the first engine being correct.
You Owe Me One – 15gs – In the Big Bank job, start the heist after having spent all 10 favors in preplanning.
Don’t Bring the Heat – 35gs – In the Big Bank job, complete the heist without triggering the alarm.
Let’s Do Th… – 15gs – In the Ukrainian job, complete the heist within 35 seconds.
Lord Of War – 15gs – On day 1 of the Firestarter job, steal all the weapons from the hangar.
I’m a Swinger – 15gs – In the Election Day job, complete the heist in stealth and swing the votes to the republican favour.
Hot Lava 2.0 – 15gs – On day 1 of the Election Day job, use the computer in stealth without ever touching the ground.
Yeah He’s a Gold Digger – 15gs – In the Four Stores job, find a gold bar in the safe.

This is completely random. There are safes typically in the electronic store. Then maybe one in the convenience store, china store, or the coffee shop. Just keeping opening them until you get one. The achievement will pop as soon as a safe opens and one is inside whether you are near it or not.

I Will Fade To Dark – 15gs – In the Shadow Raid job, secure 4 bags of loot.
I Will Walk Faceless Among Men – 15gs – In the Shadow Raid job, secure all 4 pieces of the samurai armor.
Phew! – 15gs – On day two of the Hotline Miami job, save someone in need.
Walk Faster – 15gs – On day 2 of the Hotline Miami, reach the Commissar’s crib in under 210 seconds on OVERKILL or above.
Sounds of Animals Fighting – 15gs – Finish the Hotline Miami job on hard difficulty or above, each member wearing a unique Hotline mask.
Cat Burglar – 15gs – In the Diamond job, complete the heist without triggering the alarm.
Culture Vultures – 15gs – In the Diamond job, secure 10 bags of additional loot.
Breaking Dead – 15gs – In the Bomb: Dockyard heist, find the meth lab.
Pump It Up – 15gs – On Bomb: Forest, stop the cops from disconnecting the water hose whilst using the river water pump.
I’ve Got the Power – 15gs – In the Bomb: Dockyard heist, don’t let the enemies cut the power.
Tabula Rasa – 90gs – Finish Hoxton Breakout on OVERKILL, everyone using the Golden AK, C-Typewriter SMG, no skills/armor.
No One Cared Who I Was… – 15gs – Until I put on the mask.

The first time you put on the your mask with LB this will unlock. Most like at the Safe House.

I Got It, I Got It! – 15gs – Catch a bag mid­air.

Best place to do it is your safe house right when you start the game as there will be no one shooting at you.

But Wait – There’s More! – 15gs – On any Armored Transport heist, find the plans that unlocks the Train heist.
Masked Villain – 15gs – Modify a mask for the first time.
Going Places – 15gs – Gain $1.000.000 in total spendable cash.
Killin’s As Easy As Breathing – 15gs – Kill 10 enemies in a row using any light machine gun without releasing the trigger.
In Town You’re the Law, Out Here It’s Me – 15gs – Kill a jump kicking Cloaker using any Shotgun.
Triple Kill – 15gs – Kill 3 enemies with one bullet using any Sniper rifle.

The first Sniper Rifle you can buy is the Rattlesnake Sniper Rifle at level 15. At level 65 you get the .50 cal though that will do a LOT more damage and make it easier to get multiple kills at once.

It Takes A Pig To Kill A Pig – 15gs – Drop Floyd the Pig on top of a lawforcer.
Police Brutality – 15gs – Beat a Shield to death using the Telescopic Baton.

The Telescopic Baton is a level 17 unlock in Melee. It still takes quite a few hits so working with a partner to distract the Shield is a good idea.

Swing Dancing – 15gs – Complete any single day of a heist killing at least 50 enemies using only your melee weapon.
Big Bada Boom – 15gs – Kill at least four enemies with one GL40 grenade launcher shot.

The GL40 Grenade Launcher is a level 46 unlock under Special for your Primary slot.

Bullet Hell – 15gs – Kill 10 enemies within 10 seconds using the Buzzsaw 42 light machine gun.

The Buzzsaw 42 Light Machine Gun is a level 71 unlock under LMGs for your Primary slot.

Tough Act to Follow – 30gs – Complete all contracts including pro jobs on the Hard difficulty.
Shit Just Got Real – 30gs – Complete all contracts including pro jobs on the Very Hard difficulty.
Completely OVERKILL! – 35gs – Complete all contracts including pro jobs on the OVERKILL difficulty.
OVERKILL Salutes You! – 90gs – Complete all contracts including pro jobs on the Death Wish difficulty.
Becoming Infamous – 90gs – Reach the first level of Infamy.

You must first get to level 100 and spend $200 million from your offshore account. This also resets your skill points and removes all your spending cash. AKA, Prestige. It does open up some bonuses and unique items though.

Most Wanted – 90gs – Reach reputation level 100.

Review: Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark

Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark
2.95 GB
Available On
Xbox ONE [Reviewed], Steam
Release Date
Single Player

Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark (here after referred to as the Cat Game) is a platformer by Italic Pig and Team17 with a bunch of puzzling and a heavy heavy physics background. And not physics like in game shenanigans like Portal, no physics as in physics jokes and puns. Seriously. If you are a Stephen Hawking-aphile you’re going to be laughing your ass off and trying to high five a lot of people who have no idea what the hell that joke even meant. Do you think puns related to the Higgs boson is the absolute top level of comedy? Then you probably have a lot of social issues but at least this game is for you! The story goes that all of these particles have escaped from the Particle Zoo and you need to get them all back. Now I’m not saying that if you don’t get the references you’re not going to enjoy the game. I’m just saying they made a game whose name is based on a experiment that if you put a cat into a box and it has a 50% chance of dying is the cat dead, alive or both?

Physics be funny!

Physics be funny!

So how do you go about finding and capturing these 100s of Gluons and Muons and other particles? Scattered throughout the levels you will start to collect four different Quarks. These are small brightly colored objects and they are EVERYWHERE. After you collect a bunch of these Quarks you combine them, 3 at a time, into 14 different combos. You create things like Copter, that lifts you to areas you can’t directly jump to. Missiles allow you to blast through walls and Dig allows you to, well, blast through the floor. There are a total of 14 abilities and most of these combinations are given to you by the game but a few have to be discovered by you as you play. The Cat has all the typical platformer moves to go along with these abilities like a limited attack move and jumping but you’ll be using the abilities A LOT.

There are two different types of levels you will be playing in the Cat Game. Hub style open area levels are where you are just trying to collect those Gluons and other escaped particles and pretty much just get yourself to the next main puzzle area. In these types of levels Quarks are everywhere. They end up being a non currency because of how easy they are to get. You can just enter and leave levels to load up on quarks. You can easily get 50 or more of each Quark so it’s not really if you are going to be able to get through the level, just how you are going to do it.

Get those Glouns

Get those Glouns

The puzzle levels, by contrast, are the complete opposite. You are typically given only the exact number of Quarks you need to complete a area and then any extra are taken from you before you start the next section. My problem with these sections are they need to be done pretty much perfectly. There is typically no way to backtrack to reacquire Quarks you lose through using your abilities. If you need to Copter up to a area but fail to make the ledge you need to get to, or perhaps you just fall off the ledge, you literally have no way of getting back up there. You need to pause to the menu and restart checkpoint. It takes you out of the game and it would of been more in-game to simply have a place to fall back to that got you the Quarks you needed to re-start that section again instead of having to constantly reload.

The game is also randomly generated so every time you play you’ll get a different layout. I assume this is why the level design is so so boring. The Cat and other NPCs and enemies look really top notch. As you collect more and more Quarks it really fells like this mass of creatures always there when you need them. But the levels themselves are pretty much made from 3 elements that just repeat and repeat and repeat. You have a ground element that you can break, a rock element that you can not break, and the goo element that harms you. That’s about it.

Although you can complete the game without getting all the lose particles there is a achievement for capturing them all. Each level typically has a few signs that point out how many of each are left in the game and how many are left in the particular area you are in. There is no fast travel level select here though. Up until the end of the game you area able to backtrack to previous areas but it is quite the chore to do so. Any game that tasks you will collecting and finding so many objects should by law, Ampere’s Law, (Google physics reference!) have a level select.

The story and acting are top notch, but the repetitive and boring level design are a unfortunate distraction from the solid platform/puzzle gameplay. The difference between “Open Quarks Quarks Everywhere As Far As The Eye Can See” and the “Puzzle Only As Many Quarks As You Need And Not A Single Quark More” levels is such a huge disparity and with how abundant the Quarks are in the open areas it seems like it would of been more enjoyable to play if the player just got unlimited Quarks in these areas. Anyone who enjoys platformers and puzzle games fun should give Schrod’s Cat a chance, especially at the bargain price of just $10. You might also pick up some amazing physics info you can throw out at your next dinner party. Or not. Probably not.

1) Story is funny and well acted
2) Quarks and their abilities are a interesting new mechanic

1) Level graphics are just so basic
2) Failing puzzle elements require you to restart entire sections



Review: Splatoon

Retail and Digital
1.80 GB
Available On
Wii U [Reviewed]
Release Date
May 29, 2015
Nintendo EOD2
Multiplayer and Single Player

Splatoon is a third person multiplayer turf-war shooter from Nintendo. It’s the Big N’s first true attempt at an online shooter. The game was announced at E3 last year in 2014 and was made available for the masses less than a year later. There was definitely excitement and intrigue upon the games announcement. And that has carried over and multiplied until the release just this week. With much hype comes the chance for a big let-down, so Nintendo has to tread lightly. Nintendo is jumping into a whole new genre for them and a whole new franchise. There are two things that can always be predicted with a Nintendo game. It has the chance to have brand new revolutionary things that the world has never seen before. And it also has the chance to completely skip out on key features that other games have nailed down for years. As a Nintendo fan, I always hope for that first thing and fear the latter.

Splatoon’s second-to-second gameplay is incredible. It provides some of the most fun online shooting I’ve ever had a chance to play. You play as a squid kid, called an inkling, with special powers. As in normal shooters, you have a gun, some grenades, and various ways to take down your enemy. There are different guns that are great in different scenarios, from high powered assault rifles to long range snipers. That’s about where the comparisons stop when it comes to every other shooter out there. The HUGE difference maker and home-run hitter when it comes to gameplay and execution, is the INK. Each team has a different color ink to work with. It might be green vs pink. It might be blue vs yellow. In the various game modes, the ink is everything. The main gamemode is called turf war. It’s a quick three minute battle where the objective is to cover the map with as much of your color ink is possible. At the end the score is tallied up and whichever team has more ink percentage wins. The stage starts out completely ink free; when you shoot ink from your fun onto the floor it covers that area in your ink. If it stays there the whole game, that would go towards the teams final ink tally at the end. However the other team can just as easily spray their own ink right on top of yours and take over the area. It’s a constant battle for dominance. Of course you can also take out the enemy with your ink guns as well. Another game mode is like king of the hill, called Splatzone, but with an awesome twist. Instead of gaining points by standing in the area and fending off the enemy, you gain points by making sure the whole area is dominated by your teams color. There’s a lot more strategy involved than the average king game, because you don’t need to stay in the area at all times, you can leave the spot and kill bad guys or flank around, as long as you keep an eye on that Splatzone. Both of these game modes with the ink being the center of it all is so much fun. In a world were deathmatch is king and almost every other game mode falls to the wayside, Splatoon’s ink is the reason why these new game modes are so much fun.

On top of the gamemodes being “ink”centric, the ink provides so many new gameplay opportunities. The biggest thing revolves around your inkling being able to turn into a squid and swim through the ink. With a touch of a button, you can transform into a squid and fly through the ink at double the speed when compared to running. This is also how you reload/refill your weapons. You have an ink container on the back of your inkling. And you can see it drain away with every shot fired; you can then duck into your ink to refill your tank back up. This feels intuitive and natural very quickly, as does swimming around in the ink itself. The most important fact about all this ink diving is that you can only do so in your own team’s ink. Meaning if you are playing on the green team, you can only swim around and refill in the green ink. And if you walk around in the enemy’s ink, you will slowly take damage and you won’t be able to move at all, almost like you’re stuck in mud up to your knees. You also have a special meter that fills up whenever you cover areas in your ink. Once the special meter is filled, you can use your specials, which are similar to kill steaks. Some of them drop down a huge tornado like missile from the sky, others provide a safety bubble around your inkling for a few seconds, and others allow you to shoot a huge rocket from your back for maximum carnage. So the whole game revolves around the ink. Along with it being your weapon to splat and take down the enemy, it’s also used for the game modes themselves as the goal of the game and also it’s used for traversal, gameplay mechanics, and more.

Some of the gameplay mechanics that can be done with the ink is truly revolutionary to the genre. When being attacked by an enemy, it’s not simply about going behind cover or firing away, the ink adds so much more. As soon as a gunfight starts, you can drop into your ink and flank around him before he even notices. Remember the ink on the ground would have to be your own color to do so. But even though you can go into the ink, the enemy can still hurt and kill you while you’re underneath, and there’s still a bump and ripple effect around the submerged inkling, so they can still see you with a quick eye. Flanking around some enemies before a gun fight even starts and catching them off guard is very satisfying. Of course camping is a huge annoyance in shooters, so you’d think ducking under the ink and hiding would be a major camping problem. But it’s not really at all. First off, you can’t shoot while underneath, so you are actually in a more dangerous spot since the enemy can still shoot and kill you while you are submerged. Secondly, since EVERY game mode and so many gameplay elements revolve around the ground being saturated with your own team’s ink, players are constantly shooting and covering the ground with their own ink. So even if you think hiding under the ink and waiting for them to pass is a safe thing to do, they can start shooting and killing you without them even noticing because they were just planning on taking over that area and turning it from green to pink for their own team’s sake. The map design is also quite open, and the range of the weapons is rather low, so camping is almost entirely nonexistent, which is awesome. Another amazing gameplay ability with the ink is climbing up walls. Covering the walls will not help your team gain points, only the ground counts. But it can help you climb up to new areas or perches to jump off of and catch the enemies off guard. The amount of tricks that you can learn and conquer over time is thrilling and really sets the game apart from the average shooter. The ink really makes this like nothing else I’ve ever played before.

The controls themselves feel very nice, you can use the gyroscope to aim, but I recommend just going with the dual sticks like a normal shooter. There are a few cool abilities when it comes to the touchpad on the gamepad. If you have the inkstrike special, you use the screen to tap on the map where you want it to land. But the main reason you will use the touchpad is when you respawn. You can choose to just start right back from the original spawn when you die, or you can click on any teammate on the map and launch into the air and land right next to them. Be careful though, the location you will land appears on the enemies’ screen, so if it’s a really hot spot it might be an instant death. Powerups and special abilities can really ruin an online shooter. In destiny the game got really out of hand, as every five seconds it felt like I was getting killed by a massive sun orb or titan punch. In Splatoon, every special powerup can be extremely effective. But a skilled player still has the chance to see it coming and avoid it. It’s a fair balance for the most part.

Progression, weapons, and perks is a very important part about any online shooter. Is there diversity? Is there balance? Is it fun to unlock new things? These are all questions that need to be answered with an emphatic yes. Every time you launch up Splatoon you spawn in Inktropolis, the game’s hub world. Inktropolis is awesome. It’s colorful, vibrant, and full of life. It feels like a real place and really sets the tone for the world the game takes place in. The hub world is filled with other Inklings of real people online. It’s very much like Destiny’s hub world, the Tower. Only difference is characters are not walking around in real time. It’s just there in game characters with their names, their gear, and a miiverse message. On the left hand side of the city there are a set of stores, where you can buy your gear and weapons. On the right hand side is where you’ll find the single player, the local multiplayer, and a black market dealer who can sell you rare stuff for a lot of cash. And straight ahead is where you can jump into online multiplayer. The stores on the left side are where you’ll find yourself running into as often as possible. There are four different stores, each one of them specializing in a different item. The shop keepers are full of character and impossible not to love. There’s a horseshoe crab helmet wearing salesman of guns, a big shrimp who sells shoes, a jellyfish who sells shirts, a girl who has sea anemone for hair with a clown fish living in it. Each character is funny and unique, for example the sea anemone girl is very shy and unsure of herself, meanwhile the clownfish on her head is often screaming at you and telling you to hurry up and pay. All of the buyable gear has unique look and style. On top of that they have abilities attached to them. Each hat, shoes, and shirt has random abilities and it’s up to the buyer to pick which one they like the best. There are abilities that range from giving your weapon a bit of extra damage power to making your movement while swimming under ink invisible. Picking those perks that best utilize your play style is crucial. None of them seem overpowered; they just give small advantages in different styles of play. One example of these abilities is one that allows you to use your specials longer. So when you cover enough area with ink and you gain your ink bazooka, you can use it for an extra few seconds thanks to the extra ability in your gear. However if you have the inkstrike, which is an airstrike of ink, it’s a onetime use special. So there’s no point in having the ability of being able to use your specials for longer. So it’s your job to switch out the gear to better help you with whatever play-style you choose.

The weapons are done smartly as well. At every level you unlock a new gun pack that you can choose to buy with your coins that you unlock in multiplayer. Some weapons are certainly better at different jobs than others. There’s SMG style guns, mid range assault rifle style guns, snipers, and rollers (which I’ll get to in a second). The sub-weapons, your grenade and mines, are good for different styles of warfare as well. And of course those powerful specials can be deadly. Here’s the very smart thing Nintendo did with the weapons. Instead of allowing you to pick individual guns, subs, and specials, you have to pick packages. Meaning you can’t just pick that best SMG mixed with that best grenade mixed with that best special. Otherwise quickly the game would become top heavy with the “best” weapons. Think how Call of Duty games often have three or four guns that everyone always uses with the same perks that everyone uses with the same equipment and same kill streaks. ACR, Stopping Power, Claymores, Scavenger Pro, Harrier, Attack Choppper, Nuke from Modern Warfare 2 anyone? (If that went over your head, ignore it.) The way Splatoon handles the weapons is in packages, and each gun has a couple different package options. For example if you like the .52 Gal gun, you have two different options. You can pick the one that comes with the Splash Wall sub and Killer Wall special. Or you can pick the package with the Seeker sub and the InkStrike special. If you like the Aerospray gun, you can have the package with the Seeker sub and Inkzooka special. Or the Aerospray with the Ink Mine sub and Ink Strike special. These different packages create different play-styles and allow for fair balanced gameplay.

To jump back to the Roller class I talked about earlier, there is a style of weapon that is called a Roller and these can be very deadly but also can be easy targets. Imagine when you are painting a wall; you use big rollers to spread paint across large areas, a lot quicker than a paint brush. This is the same principle in Splatoon. Roller weapons can be used to spread ink across large areas very quickly, and they can get kills by running over other players like a cement roller.

Single player is surprisingly fun. The story is very simple and nothing special. But the gameplay takes everything from the multiplayer and adds so much more. The bad guys are silly, creative, and a lot of fun to kill. When you jump into single player, there are hub worlds filled with four to six levels and they climax with a very Nintendoy boss battle. The single player also unlocks weapons for multiplayer, including the very fun Aerospray.
The graphics in Splatoon are very very pretty. Colors are vibrant and bright. Animations are slick and cartoony. In single player the enemies are lively and fun. The gear, weapons, and maps all have unique and fun looks. The music is very hit and miss. Splatoon does a great job of creating its own unique sound, but some of the songs lean more towards annoying than. The more laid back and quiet songs in the city, shops, and hub areas are all awesome. But some of the music during gameplay is pretty bad and others are amusing and memorable.

For the most part this review has been filled with all the good of Splatoon. But there are definitely some major problems, luckily they can be fixed and it seems like Nintendo is working on them. First off, there are only 6 maps. 6 maps for a launch of a multiplayer focused game is kind of absurd. Also there are only three game-modes in multiplayer. Add on the single player and it’s not half bad, but it definitely needs more. Thankfully Nintendo is on top of that. Already, less than a week after launch they’ve updated the game twice, one new map and two new weapons. At the moment, the top level is 20, which is doable in a decent amount of time. There is no prestige. I’m definitely hoping Nintendo ups the top level or adds a prestige. Probably the most baffling design choice is that there is no voice chat. A 4v4 online shooter without voice chat is unheard of today. But Nintendo us stuck in its ways. Luckily, in the short matches and tight gameplay, it isn’t missed quite as much as you’d think. Nintendo has promised to continue to support Splatoon with new maps, weapons, game-modes and more in the near future and far far beyond as well. If Nintendo can support this game more along the lines of PC Arena shooter over the next two years then this game has the real chance to grow into a classic.

The love and support for Splatoon is very real. Nintendo fans and gamers a plenty are all about this game. Its new unique gameplay is exactly what the genre needs. Nintendo has created something truly special in Splatoon. The game is balanced, fun, and challenging. All the crazy gameplay, movements, and gunplay allowed through the ink is unlike anything I’ve ever played before. Nintendo needs this game to be a big hit, and I think it has a very strong chance to be. It’s not perfect, but the problems are not design problems, they are fixable issues that can be addressed in time. The Splatoon community will play this game for a very long time as long as the Big N continues to support it.

1) “Ink”credible new gameplay
2) Balanced gameplay and progression
3) Hub World and World building
4) Just so much fun

1) Needs more maps and gamemodes
2) Some iffy music mixed in with great music



Review: Beach Buggy Racing

Beach Buggy Racing
$9.99 / £7.99
Digital only
0.25 GB
Available On
Xbox ONE [Reviewed], PS4
Release Date
Vector Unit
Vector Unit
Single player, Local multiplayer

Beach Buggy Racing is a kart racer brought to the Xbox One by Vector Unit. Originally a free to play mobile game, Vector Unit opted to charge an up front cost with everything available without the need for micro transactions. Did Beach Buggy Racing port over to the Xbox One successfully? Let’s find out.

Upon starting up Beach Buggy Racing you are introduced to the game mechanics, controls etc in a quick tutorial. Once you know how to drive, use your special and fire off the power-ups you can pick up around the track you can get into the meat of the game. Something I struggled with was how to boost off the starting line. I looked everywhere in the tutorials and controls and it isn’t mentioned, but it can be found on the main menu under the Pro Tips section (Tap A just before it says GO!).

As mentioned briefly above, you can pick up power-ups on the track in the form of question marks in floating bubbles, which is pretty much a given in most kart racers. Although this isn’t a new idea, I found it quite staggering just how many power-ups there are available in the game. I think I must have had at least 10 races before I had seen every power-up. They range from shields to protect from damage to remote controllers that lets you control another driver. In total there are 27 unique power-ups available from the beginning. No need to unlock them or buy them with coins. I was blown away by the sheer selection.

Variety is the spice of life!

Variety is the spice of life!

The actual gameplay for a kart racer is brilliant. The graphics aren’t quite next-gen but the amount of fun to be had more than makes up for that. All 15 tracks have their own themes with several shortcuts you need to learn if you want to be able to compete in the latter stages of the game. My biggest gripe with the gameplay was the cheap AI. On countless occasions I would get spammed by homing missiles just before the finish line, or in a one on one the character I was up against would use their special ability over and over during the race. Although it can be annoying, this is part and parcel of kart racers.

Just one example of the themed tracks.

Just one example of the themed tracks.

The game consists of five different modes, Career, Daily Challenges, Championships, Quick Race and Split Screen. You’ll probably be spending the majority of your time in Career, which tasks you with gaining 3 stars on every event for each cup. There are a few different events, Race, Boost Blitz, Elimination, Shooting Gallery, Stampede and Follow the Leader. Each event has specific criteria you have to meet in order to successfully gain 3 stars. The final event for each cup has you going one on one against one of the other characters. If you successfully beat them, then you unlock the next cup and that character to use.

Why is unlocking new characters such a big deal you ask? Well, each character has their own special ability which you can use once per event. As an example, Rez has the Burning Rubber special which gives you a massive speed boost and leaves behind a trail of fire that can knock your opponents of their vehicles.

Whenever you complete a race you get coins, how much depends on how well you do. These coins are then used to upgrade your vehicle. You can upgrade your Acceleration, Top Speed, Handling and Strength. If you want to stay competitive in Beach Buggy Racing, you need to make sure you keep on top of your upgrades. Once you have upgraded your stats to the max you can upgrade your HP to make your vehicle even more powerful, maxing out at 1000HP

Maxed out.

Maxed out.

All the vehicles are unlocked from the get go, but if you switch vehicles, remember that the upgrades are only fitted to the car you bought it for. It can be rough going from a fully upgraded 1000HP vehicle to one that has only just been upgraded to 1000HP.

Onto the next mode we have Daily Challenge. Self explanatory really, each day there is a different event and if you complete it you get some coins for your troubles, which increase each day you return and complete another daily challenge.

In the Championships mode you have a number of events to complete. If you place 1st overall you get three stars and can progress to the next Championship for that car. Each car has 4 Championships, 100HP, 250HP, 500HP and 1000HP. If you want to complete all of them you are going to have to upgrade all of your vehicles to 1000HP, which is going to take some time.

Quick Race is self explanatory as is split-screen. You are able to play up to six players in split screen mode which is nice. I played a few events with my four year old son and we had a blast. The controls are simple enough for younger gamers to have fun whilst still being enjoyable for older gamers too.

Six players.

Six players.

The biggest selling point for me, by far is the amount of content you get. Had this kept the free to play model, you would have been drip fed everything and it probably would have been tedious to unlock the stuff you want to use in the game, or expensive. With everything available it gives you a vast variety of things to do. With the Career mode alone you’ve got yourselves a decent sized kart racer.

For the achievement hunters out there, the achievements aren’t going to come thick and fast. You’re going to need to complete all championships for five cars, earn all three stars in every event in the Career mode and the two that really stand out are for earning 1,000,000 coins and driving 9,289km (both of which I am currently at 6%). There are also some random ones for using certain power-ups which are a bit luck based unless you can do them in split-screen. So if you are a completionist, just be aware that Beach Buggy Racing isn’t going to be a quick completion.

Beach Buggy Racing has a lot of similarities to most kart racers, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One of my all time favourites growing up as a kid was Mario Kart and although it isn’t on the same level, it’s good enough to want me to keep coming back for more and put a smile on my face when I play it. The tracks are all unique, the gameplay is immensely fun and the amount of content on offer is pretty staggering. It isn’t perfect though. The AI can be frustrating and cheap at times, the graphics aren’t really next-gen level and there is definitely a need for some online multiplayer. But these are just small annoyances which can most certainly be overlooked. If you’re a fan of kart racers, be sure to give Beach Buggy Racing a go.

1) Huge array of content
2) Unique tracks
3) Brilliant gameplay

1) Needs online multiplayer
2) Graphics aren’t great
3) AI can be cheap