CAR TOONS!, a new action puzzle game from FDG Entertainment, proudly makes its way to the App store today. With over 100 cleverly designed levels, formidable challenges, and a hilarious self-awareness, I wouldn’t be surprised if this title becomes an iOS favorite. Expect to see CAR TOONS! on Apple’s top 25 lists soon.
The basic objective of CAR TOONS! is to push “bad” cars off the road and park your “good” cars in their respective parking spots. The “bad” cars are luxury vehicles, and the “good” cars are public service vehicles. Sound a little strange? That’s exactly what I thought during my first few minutes with this game. Its early levels are simplistic, nearly to the point of childish, and I found it difficult to shake a sense of surreal awkwardness (just try it; you’ll know what I mean). Once I got used to its mechanics, though, I realized that the first dozen or so levels merely function as integrated tutorials. Each one breaks down an element of the game and teaches it to players so that they can put them all together later on. My advice is to stick with it, because the core of this game requires real thinking.
There’s little doubt that CAR TOONS! immediately stands out among your average action puzzlers. Its pace is fast. Its simple formula becomes surprisingly dynamic. And, as you advance further into the game, you’ll see that your objective isn’t as basic as it initially seemed. Special abilities become available for each vehicle, and the most advanced levels require combining them strategically. Eventually, players must work around explosive barrels and precariously balanced structures. Realistic gravity effects play a large role as well. All in all, FDG has done a lot with a little here.
One of my favorite aspects of the game is its wit. Technically speaking, there is central plot to CAR TOONS! that involves washed-up service cars, something about crime, and the 1980′s. What this actually amounts to, however, are really funny jokes and one-liners themed around cars and video games. For instance, one of my cars in a later level told me, “This is one of the developer’s favorite levels.” In response, his friend dryly remarked, “I don’t know why.” In another instance, one of my cars warned me, “If you’re a feminist, close your eyes.” (There was nothing actually offensive, don’t worry.) These types of moments are the ones that add heightened enjoyment to a game. Moreover, they show that developers truly care about their product.
While it may not have the degree of depth that some other mobile games provide, CAR TOONS! does reflect the mass appeal that made games like Angry Birds and Where’s My Water? so ridiculously popular. To be quite honest, the amount of new elements that this game constantly adds as players progress makes the experience feel somewhat like a collection of mini-games. Which is good. As it is, players could easily take turns with friends, adding multiplayer possibilities.
With a game as cool as CAR TOONS! fresh on the market, there’s no use in spending any more time reading this review. Go download it. You’ll be glad you did.