Crash 'N' Burn Hands-On Near-Final Impressions

We get Hands-On time with a near final build of Crash 'N' Burn.

Crash 'N' Burn Turbo is the follow-up to Macrospace's 2003 rally racing game, and it's similar in appearance. You tool around small rally tracks, viewed from an overhead perspective, while avoiding environmental obstacles and opposing vehicles. Unlike the previous Crash 'N' Burn, where weapons and car upgrades were central to the game, the Turbo edition eschews both these elements, concentrating instead on simple nitro-boosting and crashing. The scope of the game has therefore been considerably narrowed, and it remains to be seen whether this improves or detracts from the overall Crash 'N' Burn experience.

You'll see some insane, Burnout-style crash pile-ups.

In Crash 'N' Burn Turbo, you can customize your car, choosing between three vehicle types and four paint jobs. While its predecessor started you off with a relatively slow vehicle, Crash 'N' Burn Turbo's cars are all, well, turbos. Your choices in the customize menu won't affect your car's speed, however.

After selecting your car and entering a player name, which is optional, you can choose to either race a single track or enter championship mode, which allows you to compete over several progressively more-difficult circuits. In either case, you'll compete against three other drivers on tracks littered with the charred remains of yesterday's race losers. Crash too often and you'll join their ranks. The circuits have also been poorly paved and are rife with potholes, protrusions, and grease puddles, each of which can negatively affect your performance.

The game's control is simple, with the 4 and 6 keys managing movement. Acceleration is automatic, but you can choose to break or use a nitro blast. Unfortunately, chording (simultaneous button pressing) doesn't seem to be enabled in this title, but, as there's no reason to constantly hold the gas, this isn't usually problematic.

Crash 'N' Burn Turbo's graphics are definitely an improvement over those of its predecessor. The game's sprites are well drawn, and the frame rate stays fairly constant, even with all the shrapnel that litters the tracks and the animated smoke effects that reveal car damage. Frame rates were even further improved (on our test Nokia 6600) when we disabled the game's heads-up display.

On some tracks, you have to follow arrows around a set course; you won't automatically be kept on the right path.

The game's soundtrack is shaping up nicely and features fast-paced MIDI tunes marked by breakneck drumrolls and almost melancholy synth lines. Although the audio becomes extremely repetitive after a few races, it's still sounding like a solid effort for a Series 60 game.

The original Crash 'N' Burn redefined rally racing on mobile by combining destruction-derby antics with a traditional dash to the finish line. Crash 'N' Burn Turbo lacks its forebear's heavy weaponry, but it seems to refine the actual racing quite a bit. We'll see how the game fares in our upcoming review.

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