Digital Chocolate Releases New iPad Title: Underground 3D Rollercoaster Rush HD

Underground 3D Roller Coaster RushThough the iPhone version is about a month old, Digital Chocolate has recently released the iPad version of their physics-oriented, puzzle’esque racing game, Underground 3D Rollercoaster Rush HD. If the name sounds familiar, that’s likely due to its base stemming from an older Digital Chocolate title, New York 3D Rollercoaster Rush HD. However, where direct multiplayer held in the older app may be lost, the newer game takes a different social approach by joining the OpenFeint network.

Like its predecessor, Underground challenges players to race on, quite possibly, the worst designed roller coasters ever. Wrought with steep drops, collapsing tracks, and half finished loops, players use physics to try and complete each level in the fastest time, whilst trying to earn the highest score possible. These bizarre tracks, combined with the fast-paced nature of a racing game makes for a very curious marriage of features that could be best described as a “racing-puzzle game.” Though, it can be frustrating at times, it still makes for a fun creation, and with direct social integration, gives the game an extra level of depth the previous Rush title did not quite have.

Though the premise of the game is a bit different from most games, the overall play is actually quite simple. Players a presented with a very unsafe underground roller coaster, with the sole objective of reaching the end – preferably in one piece. In the more unique mode to Underground — “Underground Mode” — users control a single coaster car that the engineers never locked into the track. Basically means that every incline, dip, or flip can and will send you careening off course.

Not GoodControls on the iPad are simple enough, as players touch a pair of sizable arrows to move left of right and a pair of others to rotate forward or backward (though you can turn on the accelerometer to control through tilting the device). The idea is that every time one of these obstacles sends the car off in some, whacked-out, direction, the player must use the controls to reorient it so that it lands wheels down, and, frankly, it’s almost like a puzzle — trying to figure out what direction to rotate, how fast to go, and so on. Failing to do so will result in the vehicle either landing on its roof or plummeting into the void beneath the track.

There are a ton of twists and turns to deal with, so it takes a good eye and a lot of practice to prevent either of these results from occurring, and one might think it frustrating. Surprisingly, it’s not that bad, because neither causes the player to fail. Each track actually has a number of check points to hit, and should the user get stuck or fall, they merely restart at one of these locations. That isn’t to say there is not penalty for failure, however, as the objective is to get the fastest time possible, and the clock does not stop or reset for redos.

After each level, players earn a final score and star rating based on how they did. With the rating alone, an extra level of longevity is added for players that like to earn achievements. Furthermore, considering the speed in which cars move, getting those top ratings and scores will prove most difficult.

High SpeedAs a matter of fact, the latter can be even trickier as there are a myriad of stunts that can be performed to boost points earned as well. As if reaching the end weren’t hard enough sometimes. Players can do flips, catch air, and any number of other “acrobatics” in order to increase their score, and in turn, add a significantly higher level of challenge.