Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Hill Climb Racing is a fun, free game that lets you pit your truck against the terrain in a 2D side-scrolling adventure.
You only have two controls - a gas pedal and a brake. You learn quickly that simply stomping on the gas is sure to flip you over and snap your neck (complete with a suitable crunching noise). Instead you have to watch the hills, monitor your speed, and give your car just enough gas to move forward through the obstacles.
Along the way you gather up gas, to let you go further, and coins, which let you upgrade your car. You can upgrade the tires, 4WD, suspension, and engine. Each one can be upgraded multiple times and helps your car handle better.
At the beginning your car is incredibly bouncy, has little power, and flips easily. But as you build up coins and improve your car it gets better and better at navigating the terrain. Your skills improve too, of course, and you get deeper into the world.
It's a lot of fun, and it's quick, too. So if you've got five minutes to spend while waiting in a check-out line, you can make some progress with your car, perhaps earning yourself a new set of tires.
The game over screen gives you a summary of your progress to date, and lets you share it with friends and family in case you achieved something fairly spectacular -
All in all the game is easy enough for youngsters to pick up, it's fun to keep you involved and wanting to make more progress, and aside from the neck-snapping if you happen to flip your car, it's fairly low on the violence scale. It's you and your car against the world. How far can you get? How do you balance caution with a need for speed?
Well recommended. It isn't a long, epic story, but sometimes those short mind-breaks are exactly what you need in life.