Parcel Panic – Post Car Racer 3D [rating: 4/5]
Racing games have a special place in my heart. In everyday life I am a cautious father of two who rarely goes over the speed limit. I start to get sweaty and anxious if I go even a little bit over the speed limit. Get me in a racing game however and that part of me that hungers to open the throttle and go for broke comes out. So it was with a special zeal and excitement when I took on the task of reviewing Parcel Panic.
The developers of Parcel Panic – Post Car Racer 3D posted the game details and preview video on our forum in early December and it certainly looked exciting! The latest game from Mad Processor falls into the resource management / package delivery genre of games. Your job in Parcel Panic is to pick up and deliver packages on your island with one of the four pick up trucks available in the game. Each pick up truck has distinct characteristics and abilities and all but the first is locked at the beginning of game play. As you progress through the levels, new trucks are earned and become available for use.
Parcel Panic has a fairly standard interface as seen in popular racing games for the iPhone. Two virtual pedals are provided on the playing surface for acceleration and braking and steering is accomplished by tilting the device. Personally I find tilt-steer type controls to be a bit disconcerting. I’d rather have a virtual steering wheel than the tilt back and forth. It might just be a personal thing but I find it hard to follow the action on screen while I violently move around the device. But like I said, that’s just a personal nitpick. Options for the control interface would be ideal.
To aid you in your missions, the game provides some interface cues to get from one destination to another. A green arrow hovers over your truck at all times indicated a predetermined route to get to your next delivery. A green dotted line also plays out in front of the truck to indicate this route as well. What you may find however is that as you become more familiar with the map you may develop your own shortcuts and routes around the island. Following predetermined routes are by no means a necessity and you may find they are even slower than routes you develop yourself.
Graphically this game is awesome. It is a real indication of the 3D possibilities of iPhone platform. The graphics are smooth, flow well throughout gameplay, and very detailed. Granted, they aren’t detailed in the same sense as a game like NOVA but detailed for the obvious arcade atmosphere Mad Processor is trying to create. One graphics-related feature I am sorry I could not test is the platform-specific optimizations Mad Processor advertises. I tested Parcel Panic on my 2nd Generation iPod touch and I was very pleased with gameplay. I can only imagine how much better it would be on the improved iPhone 3GS / 3rd Generation touch platform.
On the balance, Parcel Panic is an excellent game that is well worth the $2.99 in the App Store. The only thing I would point out is that it currently does not support any type of achievement, global leaderboard, or global high score system. In this age of social gaming, systems like OpenFeint should be part of any well adorned game. This kind of support would be a well received addition to an already great game. I would mention however that Parcel Panic does support a local high score system.
Price: $2.99 (iTunes Store Link) as of Jan 06, 2010
Version reviewed 1.1
- Great graphics
- Fun, frantic gameplay
- Easy to use interface
The Not So Good
- No achievement system
- No global leaderboard / high scores
Reviewed by: Erin Peterson
Parcel Panic – Post Car Racer 3D