Well what do you know, Mumbai’s very own ‘bridge over troubled waters’, the now famous Rajiv Gandhi Sealink is the source of entertainment for iPod users all over the world. Spiel Studios, who’ve developed a few games here and there for various platforms have thought of this rather curious idea for a game, using our Sealink as the staging area. Here’s a closer look.
Look and Feel
I’m not going beat around the bush and be overly diplomatic about this but the game looks quite corny. The reason I’m going with that term instead of anything a little stronger is simply because the graphics of this game look really old school considering how far we’ve come in mobile and especially iPhone gaming. The surroundings and layout are accurate to an extent but I’ve never seen the sea from there ever look so blue. I also haven’t seen all that graffiti on the railings either.
The background music is quite consistent which is not necessarily a good thing as it tends to get a little annoying after a while. At least the vehicles are quite well designed; then again I’m not sure Maruti Suzuki would have it any other way considering these are officially licensed by the company. The weirdest thing is the simulated engine sounds. They’re absolutely ridiculous and again quite consistent and very very repetitive. The final vehicle, after you’ve gone though the lot, is a Formula One race car. I’m not sure what it would be doing there on the Sealink but I guess they had to find a way to spice things up a bit.
What will get to you after a bit is the realization that the name of the game is called the Sealink which means as you progress there’s no other venue to take this contest to. Running the same track over and over can get really dull after a short while.
The Sealink is a ‘Time Trial’ game with no options for a race. You know what they say; you have to learn to walk before you learn to walk. So in this case, you’ve got to start off with your very own Auto-Rickshaw. That’s the only real novelty in the game. Just in case you’re not from our fair city, they don’t allow Ricks on the Sealink, or F1 race cars either, but hey, it’s just a game. It incorporates the handset’s multi-touch and accelerometer sensor capabilities. An accelerometer and reverse paddle are at the bottom of the display and of course you’ll have to steer by turning the handset.
The good part is that steering isn’t too sensitive but the accelerometer can be adjusted to your preference. The only problem is if you happen to hit the sides recovering is not an easy task at all. Trying to get back onto the road is a real task. It seems like the railing is coated with superglue and you just can’t shake it. Accelerating doesn’t help and simply reversing is useless too you’ll end up just going back and forth. The physics are completely and utterly unrealistic. On such a wide, empty road you’ll feel like a complete incompetent fool that you can’t make a simple reverse and turn without a heavy duty effort.
It’s quite a simple game. Do the run from Bandra to Worli and then return within the stipulated time period. That’s it. As you unlock the cars (a total of 7 including the Rickshaw and F1 racing car), control and speed alter accordingly. You’d think that an SUV like the Grand Vitara would have more traction and control as compared to a Rick. I wonder if Maruti likes the idea of their cars being showcased with lesser control, especially when trying to simply reverse and get back on track.
The Bottom Line
That’s really not as exciting as some of the other games in the same genre available on the AppStore out there, then again those better games cost a whole lot more. The Sealink is available for the minimum AppStore price of $0.99 which works out to less than Rs.50. It’s a seriously old school, low budget graphics kind of game. Although it takes advantage of the iPhone’s mobile gaming functionality, it’d probably look better on any other average handset with a lower resolution display. In this day and age of the iPhone, the iPad, Sony’s PSP and Nintendo DS, game developers have got to come up with a better gimmick than just using the name of a local location to get buyers to buy a game.
Nevertheless, it’s just Rs. 50 and can offer some solace to help pass the time if you’re thoroughly bored out of your skull, plus there aren’t any other racing games this cheap.
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