July 1, 2015 12:40 PM | John Bridgman
Images courtesy fonserbc.net.
Mobile games need to usually be simple to be engaging. A single gimmick carries you a long way when your player has only a few minutes to play at a time. For Forget the Brakes by Ferran Bertomeu, that gimmick is quickly switching two train cars between tracks to dodge obstacles. And it works extremely well.
This cute looking mobile game has a tight focus on its gimmick, never straying too far from the core mechanic of needing to make sure both carts lean in the proper direction to drift from track to track at the proper time. Initially you just have navigate around obstacles in your path, but eventually you get into things like switches which force you to take each cart down a separate rail. Since the two carts are connected, you can't let them get too far apart or you'll crash. It's a subtle bit of challenge increase that keeps the game fun and engaging after you get the hang of the initial concept.
As I mentioned, the game is cute with its simple rail aesthetic, and bright cartoony colours. The two rail workers you control look adorable in their simplicity, and thanks to some quaint babbled voice acting, have a bit of personality and life to them. The subtle touches this game takes really help to make this title appealing to play. There's some catchy music playing as you go through, and thankfully it never gets too grating as you do find yourself needing to restart often given the nature of the game.
The on-screen touch controls, importantly, manage to be both responsive and unobtrusive. While they are certainly large, they are not in the way of the action of the game, and playing the game is easy and comfortable. About the only thing that could work against the game for having such a large UI is that the rail cars are a bit small, though they are still detailed enough that you can easily see which way the cart is leaning as you come to your next objective.
I was extremely impressed by Forget the Brakes. It's simple fun that you can play at any time, and have a great, engaging time with no matter how much time you have to play. If you're looking for something to play on your mobile device and need to kill some time, you'd do well to try it out. It's the sort of game that you may find yourself playing longer than you expect, since the premise is both easy to get the hang of, while still being a breeze to get wrapped up in.