Jelly Car 2 Review
I don’t own an iPhone so I’ve never gotten to enjoy the game that was Jelly Car. It was one of those games that comes along that you might not think too much of at first glace because it looks so cheap. Take the time to get to know it and you’ll find yourself dating a sometimes cruel mistress. Jelly Car 2 is the next step, brought to WiiWare courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios.
What You Need to Know
Jelly Car 2 is basically a time attack platformer. You start at one part of a bouncy, sometimes deadly track and you have to navigate it with your gooey car as fast as you can. There are power ups along the way to help you reach high platforms and stick to walls. Other than that it’s up to you to use physics, momentum and quick thinking to make it to the end.
Who would have though that making a game where you play as a car made of a jelly like goo would have been a good idea? Combine that with audio effects straight from the designers mouth and you’ve got an even more unusual idea. Jelly Car takes a minimalist approach in nearly everything that it does and it works. The levels are solid color hand drawn shapes that make up the track. They’re bare bones with no flair in any way. The audio effects are just as simple. Basically all of the audio in the game is one person with a microphone making engine noises, bouncy sounds and air whooshes.
The user interface is just as simple. A few boxes with a simple drawing make up all of the menus in the game. They’re labeled so they’re easy to follow. Normally I would think of something like this as just a lazy design, but buried under all of this simple art style is a devilishly difficult puzzle racer.
In games like Jelly Car control is everything. You need everything to respond to you exactly as you’re expecting in order to maximize your run through the level. The 1 and 2 buttons control the left and right movement of your car respectively. The d-pad controls both of the power ups available to you and also the zoom of the camera. Pressing the A button will either make your car grow to enormous size or shrink it back to normal depending on what size you are when you push it. Motion control even gets a bit of a workout during the game. Tilting the Wii Remote left of right will also shift the weight of your car. The problem comes in the sensitivity of this tilt mechanic. It’s extremely sensitive and any slight movement of the Wii Remote will also shift your car to one side or another. Most of the time this won’t be a problem, but it’s really frustrating to come to the top of a hill and inadvertently shift your weight sending you tumbling down the other side with no control over the car.
There are a few different game modes to play through. The mode you’ll spend most of your time in is simply labeled Classic Mode. Here you’ll play through three different difficulty levels with 12 levels each. They range from very easy get to know the controls to downright brutal modes where you have to have pinpoint perfect timing and control in order to succeed. I breezed through the easy levels, had some difficulty with the normal levels and could not complete all of the hard levels. In addition to that there’s a mode where you play with your car attached to a snowboard for three levels. Multi-player mode works just like the Classic Mode except there are more people playing through the game.
There are a couple other modes that have a few quick levels. Long Jump has you navigating different sized ramps trying to launch yourself as far as you can. There’s even a track editor where you can place 40 different types of blocks to create your own jelly masterpieces. Unfortunately you won’t be able to share your creations with anyone.
If you bought Jelly Car and you don’t actually want to control a car you can do that. There’s a mode called factory where you are just sorting different colored blocks into different bins at the bottom of the screen. It’s a fun mode with some diversion from the main game, but ultimately just feels like a tacked on mode to make it seem worth the extra cost you’re paying for WiiWare.
Jelly Car 2 is a fun distraction for WiiWare owners that have 500 points that they’re looking to spend. It would have been nice to have online leader board included in the game, but you’ll have to settle for local leader boards where you’re just competing against yourself. It also would have been nice to be able to share levels with friends. That would have gone a long way to extending the life of the title. The puzzle elements combined with the time trial aspect make it a game there hasn’t been much of on the service. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up, but if you’re unsure just imagine how much fun it would be to control a car made of jelly. It’s pretty fun.
Final Score: 3/5 Average
Review copy of the game provided by Disney Interactive Studios.
Played through all easy, normal, Long Jump and sled levels. Finished half of the difficult levels.
Total Play Time: 3 hours