So, I’m going a bit Honeycomb crazy this past week or so with reviews and I’ve also spent quite a bit on the Android Market.
Riptide GP is the latest Tegra 2 exclusive title to hit the market and has already had a lot of positive press. As you have probably seen from screenshots Riptide GP is a water racing game vaguely similar to Waverace… The similarity ends there however, from the futuristic jet-skis to the varied course locations Riptide GP is a game of it’s own.
From the moment you load up the game you know you’re in for something special, the title screen has a rippling body of water as the backdrop and the water not only looks great but seems to undulate and move in the way you would expect water to. This is one of the main selling points of Riptide and one that was lost on me until I actually played the game. Water not only waves and ripples in a realistic fashion but it also looks smooth and reflects the environment in a way that I haven’t even seen on a home console. I can’t explain in words how great it looks when someone goes racing past you with a real wake behind them. Riptide GP really is a console quality game for mobile devices and raises the bar for Tegra 2 devices.
Play wise there is a lot to do in the game too, it seems to have as much depth as a lot of racers around and definitely one of the most fully featured racing games I have played on Android. You can choose to play single races, time trials or championships with a variety of different craft and in 3 different difficulty settings. They all play well too, I’ve tried a bit of everything and the learning curve seems to be pretty good too with the easiest setting being really easy and the hardest being quite challenging. Controls are a simple but very effective tilt based affair, I have had no problems with the controls so far.
One of the features that adds more depth to the game is the stunt feature, when getting air from waves and ramps you can perform a variety of moves by wiping your fingers over the sides of the screens. Thankfully the system is incredibly easy to get used to using both thumbs you can make gestures to choose the stunt you want to do, stunts don’t give you points but do add to your boost meter so you can boost past your rivals at the most opportune time or get some extra air from a ramp. Of course if you mistime a stunt you will be thrown off your craft with great rag-doll physics. Riptide also gives you plenty of variety with shortcuts and hidden ramps.
In a surprising trend with new Tegra games Riptide GP also employs Openfeint to track your scores online with other players. I’m a big fan of Openfeint. If you haven’t used it before it’s basically a leader board and achievement system very much like xbox live, you can pop in and see where your score lies on a global leaderboard and earn achievements to boost your overall score, I’m somewhere around 5k at the moment 😀 I enjoy getting achievements in games and competing on leaderboards so this adds to the experience.
Finally Riptide GP also has some configurable options, you can adjust the resolution of the graphics to your taste to squeeze every last frame per second out of your device or to make sure that you’re getting the best visuals you can… It’s worth checking out when you first start the game as the settings are not max by default, I’m currently testing different settings, but I think 2 notches from top seems to be the best trade off for framerate vs visual quality on my 10″ tablet.
In conclusion, there is not a bad thing I can say about Riptide GP, it is a very solid mobile/tablet game and shows very effectively the power of Tegra 2. I would recommend Riptide to anyone who has a Tegra device, you will have hours of fun and if you’re like me you’ll be flashing it to your friends to show them the excellent water effects.
Also available on Youtube
Riptide GP official site