We've had a flurry of new apps to review here at The Madhouse but today's game of the day was Franklin & Friends Bumpy Buggy Race-off. All three of the Madhouse Mini-testers love or have loved Franklin on TV and in books so they were all immediately enthusiastic when they saw the cheerful animals that they instantly recognised.
The concept of the game is very simple - Franklin (that's you) and one of his friends go head to head racing their home-made customised go karts. You get to choose from a variety of models - six in total - and there are ten tracks to complete.
What makes it interesting is that there are various obstacles, such as puddles, that will slow you down and different ramps and loop the loops which will give you greater speed. There are also things that look like obstacles, such as snowballs, that are actually power-ups so there's quite a lot to discover as you play.
10-year-old Sophie and 7-year-old Juliette have been playing with it a lot but, although he is attracted to the colours and the graphics, as well as the Franklin characters that he recognises, it's too difficult for 2-year-old Pierre to master as he can't manage to avoid the obstacles or steer into the ramps and boosts.
Even as a grown-up, it's a fun game, although, with only ten race tracks to try out, I would think the whole game will be completed before too long.
There is also the option to save your favourite races to watch them again (for example, if you do cool things like flying in the air after going on a ramp or looping the loop) and you can even upload them to Treehouse TV for other people to watch.
It's an appealing, kid-friendly game that will tax their fine-motor skills, reflexes and sense of competition and I can pretty much guarantee that the grown-ups will have a sneaky play too ! I love the details like the changing seasons that make it more interesting and visually appealing.
It actually made me feel quite nostalgic for the old homemade go-karts using old planks and pram wheels that I remember from the 70's - why don't kids make those any more ?! (Although careering down a hill with no brakes is probably not something I'd actually allow my own kids to do - how did we ever survive when we were kids ?!!)
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £1.49
for more information : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/franklins-bumpy-buggy-race/id481049702?mt=8
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