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4x4 Adventures

13 Jan 2014

4x4 Adventures game review

4x4 Adventures takes a fresh look look at the world of offroad racing.

Created by an off-road enthusiast, this game draws a lot of inspiration from the fun, challenges, frustration and finally the euphoric sense of achievement and satisfaction of overcoming seemingly impassable trails in an offroad vehicle.

Out in the wilderness, there are no stars to collect and you can't travel at 100mph, it's all about getting home in one piece.

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Starting with an old 2wd car, the player enters trails with the goal of achieving medals and trophies to earn cash to buy new, more capable vehicles and upgraded parts to tackle more and more treacherous terrain.

Upgrading the vehicles is not just a one way process with this game. All add-ons can be added and removed as required to suit the task at hand. Put on a 20" lift kit and you probably won't be able to get through a cave.

Add a set of rock tyres and you'll struggle to climb an icy mountain that requires snow chains - each trail presents a new challenge, and often these need careful consideration for the best way to tackle the terrain.

Each trail (of which there are over 100) has two main target goals which give the player very different levels of challenge. Medal targets are time based goals that reward the player for reaching the end of the trail.

Bronze, silver and gold medals pay out relative to the trail difficulty. As vehicles are upgraded, these challenges become increasingly easy to complete offering reasonably easy to achieve goals after some time.

The second goal type is the trophy system, which challenges the player to complete every trail in a specifically configured vehicle within a prescribed time limit. This is not for the uninitiated and offers a solid challenge for players that enjoy a real challenge.

Completing these challenges provides a real sense of achievement, and of course pays out accordingly with big cash bonuses. This game is no slouch when it comes to variety of play. Each environment makes a real difference to the game.

There's sand, rock, mud and snow to contend with which all have different levels of friction and cause the objects within the world to react with each other differently. Just because you can climb a 45 degree hill on a mountainside doesn't mean you'll be able to do it coming out of a mud bog.

Setting up the vehicle and using the environment can be the difference between gold, bronze, or a broken axle. On top of this, there are also a range of different play mechanics to mix things up:Time trial modes simply task the player with getting to the finish line within the time limit.

Trailer challenges require the player to tow a trailer full of cargo to the finish line within the time limit. The less cargo that gets to the end, the less reward can be expected. Cargo carrying challenges use specific vehicles that have cargo trays to load up and carry cargo to the finish line.

Just like the trailer challenges, getting the goods across the line is paramount to earning the big rewards. Finally, recovery missions have the player hooking a tow rope onto a disabled vehicle and dragging them back to civilization.

Checkpoint flags are also integrated with a number of levels which forces the player to negotiate terrain without taking shortcuts (i. e. rolling down a hill). These add even more to the complexity of the challenges ensuring the game maintains a high level of concentration from the player right throughout.

There are 14 vehicles to be purchased within the game, and they all serve purposes in different ways throughout the game. There is no one-car-fits-all, as many obstacles and terrain layouts require specific vehicle lengths and sizes to be passable.

And because the vehicles can break, with engines blowing, diffs busting and axles snapping, it's not always about putting your foot to the floor and watching the world go by. In addition to the fun gameplay, the artwork in the game was drawn by some fantastic cartoonists which make the world come to life with vibrant colours and a great sense of fun and humour.

Graphics are provided right up to 1920x1200 resolution for stunning visuals on full HD devices. The title score was written specifically for the game and conjures up a sense of taking a rambling drive through the wilderness on a sunny day in a platform based world.

Controlling the game is performed with a proper analog accelerator bar providing the fine controls necessary to negotiate tough sections of the trails. There are no tilt controls to deal with in this game - 4x4 vehicles are heavy and tilting them over is not a good idea!4x4 Adventures is not a game that you'll jump into and be racing into the sunset within 10 minutes.

It is deep, it's fun, it's sometimes frustrating and always satisfying. There is a lot of variety and challenge, and once you're hooked, you be yearning for the next trail pack update.

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