Okay, a quick rant before we begin. I do feel for indie developers, living off Tesco Value beans and that, but I’m not inclined to go easy on them, much like I wouldn’t go easy on a tennis player with no arms. That makes little to no sense, but I’m sticking by it.
Why the indie talk? Well, The Last Driver is an indie game for iOS developed by Cristiano Bartel (published by Chillingo), but it’s actually bizarrely good – on any scale.
What’s the dealio? Well, in The Last Driver you are – you guessed it – the last driver on earth, thanks to an unspecified apocalyptic event. You’re tasked with driving as far as possible, and it’s Game Over when you finally run out of health.
The road is of course infested with zombies, and you get coins for running them over. Endless fun. With those coins, you can upgrade your vehicle stats, invest in guns, buy better vehicles…
The Last Driver’s hazards include big fat zombies (shoot them before they run into you), zombies who jump onto your car and make steering a nightmare (clip a wall to get rid of them), exploding barrels, and water.
But why stop there? The Last Driver also features a giant tyrannosaurus, tornados, meteor showers, huge rolling boulders, lava, and – why the hell not? – UFOs. For serious. The Last Driver is fantastically stupid.
Before you set off, The Last Driver presents three goals, such as Drive X metres without hitting a zombie, Drive Y metres with full health, or Knock down Z zombies. When you’ve ticked off all three, you level up and get a nice cash bonus.
All in all, The Last Driver has absolutely no right being good. It looks and sounds awful (the draw distance in particular is appalling), and it should ultimately be terrible, but the over-the-topness is hugely endearing, and it’s inexplicably moreish. I found myself thinking ‘Just one more go’ for several hours.
To be fair, the vehicle controls in The Last Driver are actually spot on. Weaving in and out of ruined vehicles is immensely satisfying. And while it’d be much easier just to buy coins (freemium alert), it’s entirely possible to save up for stuff.
And that’s The Last Driver. I enjoyed it muchly.
- Knock down zombies
- A road-eating tyrannosaurus
- It’s free
- Lacks polish
- Looks pants
- Sounds pants
Summary: Knock down zombies for as long as possible then invest in a better vehicle to knock down even more zombies. Good.
Developer: Cristiano Bartel
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Price: free @ App Store