Bar Galaxy on Fire, iPhone-to-Mac ports haven’t gone all that well since the Mac App Store’s birth. Seen as another ‘gold mine’, app developers have lunged onto the Mac store with rehashed versions of their iOS games in the hope that one will take off and hit the top charts. I can’t blame them. But it’s when you get a game like Raging Thunder 2, Polarbit’s new racing title, that you begin to realise what developers have omitted in the rush to get their games on the new store. Raging Thunder 2 feels basic and mindless. Even though some inventive race tracks and environments prevent it from being a total disaster, it’s not something that you would sit down at your computer to play for a hour or so.
Raging Thunder 2 Gameplay
Right from boot-up, you can instantly tell this has been rushed onto the Mac. The splash screen is low-res, the bold menus require dragging your mouse across the options (like a finger) and the text is blocky. If you have the luxury of owning a large iMac, you won’t be impressed by the pixelated textures and menus.
But venturing into the gameplay itself, the graphics are not as horrendous. In fact some environments such as the lava-fall and wall-of-China replica look quite nice. It makes you wonder how perception differs when you’re flying past everything at 100mph. Let’s just say you don’t notice the low resolution textures as much.
When you load up a racing game, you’re not there to admire the scenery. Instead you are there to race. Racing in Raging Thunder 2 feels floaty and unrealistic, reminiscent of other arcade racers like Asphalt 6. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, Raging Thunder 2 feels ultimately flawed in its boost mechanic. When behind another car, you can take advantage of their slipstream. But instead of giving you a small speed advantage, you get a sudden phase of unlimited boost for a few seconds allowing you to race past the guy in front in a matter of moments. This does allow for some close races, but also makes for a rubber banding cycle of you overtaking a car, only to be overtaken by him again and so on. It’s not down to skill anymore and there’s only a fraction of the satisfaction when you win.
Raging Thunder 2 sports a few game modes and a career to play through, but they are all ultimately the same gameplay. The multiplayer is a good addition but doesn’t improve the gameplay at all.
Raging Thunder feels underwhelming and simple. It was made for the purpose of being played for a few minutes while waiting in line or on a train, which is the perfect fit on a mobile device. On the Mac, it just doesn’t work, as gamers are looking for a more permanent experience guaranteed to occupy them for longer periods.
Description: A Rushed iOS Racer with no Flare
Pros: Good looking locations, online multiplayer.
Cons: Menus and graphics not updated for Mac, very basic gameplay, rubber banding.