Pedal to the Metal
Who would have believed it: Raging Thunder transforms the Palm PDA into a racing speed demon, ready to take first place in a high-speed adventure. Four game modes, great 3D rendering and the possibility to play against real players sets this game apart from the others.
Three race cars are available to the player, and a preview of the machines lets the player examine and compare their individual pros and cons. Once the player has chosen their chariot of choice the fun can start right away - in arcade mode for instance, where the player goes head to head with 3 virtual drivers controlled by the PDA. Trying to get by them and win the race by a nose is what makes this particular game mode so exciting...
Raging Thunder shows the racing circuit in 3D view, allowing the player a glimpse around the corner at what's coming up, and for only a megabyte worth of memory the game's graphics are stunningly colourful and detailed. The player's sportscar is shown in 'follow' mode so that the player has a view of the action as close as possible to that of the 'virtual' driver behind the wheel.
Luckily the car is propelled by its own power without the help of the driver, since it's already difficult enough to keep the car on the road with the direction buttons. If one were also required to press a gas pedal button as well, then there would just be too many buttons to control. The goal of course is to maintain as much velocity as possible without sacrificing position.
For this reason it's also very important for the driver to keep his car out of the boards and to avoid causing accidents, since this will cause a loss of valuable speed and time, and in the worst case the player's opponents will end up skimming past. Look out for the skulls hovering above the track, since they'll slow the driver down, but try to collide with the blue lightning bolts to get a boost of extra speed.
There are usually at least two rounds before the victor is nominated. The driver can always look at how many laps are left and what position they occupy. Current speed and driving-time is also indicated.
Once the player has had enough of arcade mode, "Time Trial", "Quick Race" and "Championship" are available for a little bit of a change. In multiplayer mode the player can challenge up to four other players over Bluetooth, GRPS or WLAN, but in the test version only the first track can be tested.
Carsten Scheibe / Matthew Schneider
Raging Thunder for Palm 1.0