With Riptide GP and Shine Runner, developer Vector Unit has twice proven that it knows how to make a fun mobile racer. Does Beach Buggy Blitz become the third? After having put some time into it this past week, I can confidently answer that with a resounding “yes”. I am not usually one for racers on phones or tablets, but Beach Buggy Blitz is so well executed that I find myself making excuses to take a break and play it.
At the moment, the game is exclusive to Tegra 3 (and some Tegra 2) devices, as part of a partnership with NVIDIA to help show off some of what Tegra is capable of. When the game releases to non-Tegra devices, folks will lose out on a lens splash effect, motion blur, dynamic headlights and real-time calculated shadows. While these do add to the game, I’d imagine it’d look great nonetheless. But given the option, Tegra 3 all the way.
The game premise is simple. So simple, in fact, that I don’t even believe there’s a hint of a story here. Whereas most racing games have you move from track to track, Beach Buggy Blitz keeps things fresh by making each run unique. The first 30 seconds or so of each race features an identical portion of the track, but after that, you’ll never know what to expect. The further you get, the cooler the environments and bonuses can become.
Your ultimate goal is to earn coins en masse through each race to use for upgrading your vehicle. As you improve your vehicle, you’ll gain the ability to go further, earn even more coins, and upgrade further. I admit that at first, I wasn’t keen on the idea of each race looking the same from the start, but as my vehicle has improved, I’ve been able to get further and further, so I actually find myself excited to start a fresh race and see what awaits me.
Bonuses you purchase come in the form of bubbles randomly placed around the track. These bonuses include coin bubbles, speed boosts, shields (useful for breaking through the environment without penalty) and coin magnets. Coins earned can also be spent on paint jobs for your vehicle, brand-new vehicles, one-off race bonuses and new racers. While there is a lot to potentially purchase, you can accomplish much in-game without the urge to spend real-life dough (though you can use it as an excuse to support the developer and get a bonus in the process!).
That of course means that ike most free-to-download mobile games, Beach Buggy Blitz offers you the ability to speed up your progress by selling you the same coins you can earn through normal progression. Fortunately, the company charges reasonable fees – don’t expect to see a $100 option here, but instead $1 – $10 ones.
I highly recommend Beach Buggy Blitz to anyone who loves light-hearted racers and has a Tegra device to play it on (it should become available for other devices soon). It sells for $0 on the store, and I assure you that the game will pay for itself many times over.