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First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Rollercoaster Rush: 99 tracks"

An example of a roller coaster, one of the sta...Image via WikipediaRollercoaster Rush is a very simple yet addictive game, that when combined with 99 different tracks, 3 types of rollercoaster cars, and plenty of "achievements", keeps you coming back for more.

The backplot is superfluous and silly: before you can inherit a kingdom of rollercoasters, you must control all 99 of them without crashing (not all at once), over 3 continents. Not as simple as it sounds, of course.

You start with regular coaster car, one occupied, one not. There are only two controls: speed up (right), and slow down/brakes (left). Unlike real coasters, these coaster cars are NOT locked down to the track. Only centripetal forces and gravity are keeping them on the track. Not enough speed through the loop, and the cars will fall off. Too much speed over the hill, and the cars will fly. Flying a little is good. Flying too much is a crash. As you earn your experience, you'll get longer cars (up to 4 cars all with passengers) for higher score, and different cars (which requires very different acceleration and braking techniques).

Each track is rated by riders for "excitement". If you do a loop you usually get a LOT. Series of excitements can be "chained" for bonus multipliers, which will further increase the score. However, TOO MUCH G-load and/or impact that loses part of the coaster (remember you have up to 4 cars, and only ONE needs to make it back to station to consider the track "complete") will turn faces sad and decrease your score.

Initially you just need to complete all 99 tracks. Once you do, you may want to revisit the tracks to complete all of them with 5 star rating, as well as try to unlock all the achievements, which is to finish all the track with each type of coaster cars. The light car is easiest to fly and loop, but is rather delicate. Heavy is hardest to fly and loop, but is very sturdy and can withstand impacts. The regular is in between and what you start with.

The game is very simple on the surface but requires exquisite timing as well as an eye toward the dynamic forces involved... Some sections need to go slow, some section need to go fast, and some sections you go at maximum and hope you survive the fall, while others you pause at the peak and let it just slip over the hill... There are lots of things you can do in this game to max the score, and things are not as simple as they seem, which is a sign of a good but DEEP game.

Graphics is 2D only. Indeed, the whole coaster is 2D, but 2D in a cute way. When the cars crash, the passengers bail out and fall gently to earth on umbrellas like Mary Poppins. Icons denoting passenger mood are easy to read, and scores and speedometer fly by like reels of a slot machine. You do get a "preview" of the track, and you are warned of loops and hill crests. It's what's BEYOND the hill that requires a bit of memorization and deft controls. Best of all is a replay of your accomplishments (or disaster). Unfortunately, the scoring progression is not a part of the reply, so you can't see where did you score the most points and such.

Music and sound... music is not bad but can be repetitive, while sound is rather forget-able, and not the best parts of the game.

All in all, Rollercoster Rush 99 Tracks is a simple if addictive game that can be tried in just a minute or two, great for short breaks, and keeps you coming back for more as you try for the elusive 5 stars for every track, and other challenges.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: easy to get into, simple controls, deeper than it seems
Cons: some sections VERY frustrating, not quite enough feedback, 2D only

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