Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I played Neon City on my smartphone. Like I’ve said before, I’m really starting to get back into mobile gaming with this new phone. It still doesn’t compete with my handhelds, but oftentimes my handheld games are fit for a Time Waster.
Neon City has players racing a futuristic hover car down a never-ending track to rack up points and get highscores. It’s a simple enough concept that many smartphone games use. Players will have to dodge walls and other obstacles to keep going and get more points. This can either be done by moving left or right, or jumping. There are two different jump heights that can be used, which gives players better control of their vehicles.
Neon City places the player’s view behind their vehicle. This is closer to modern racing games than the side view that many mobile games use. While traveling down the endless track, players can pick up a variety of different powerups. There are both good and bad powerups.
The bad power ups will make the game more difficult for the player. A couple examples of these include one that reverses the controls. Another causes the vehicle to speed up, which makes it harder to dodge obstacles that are found on the track.
The good powerups are mostly made of small point increases. There’s one that will warp players to a new area that is filled with lines of points that can be picked up. These are fairly rare and give players a huge boost in score. Another really handy powerup is the hammer. The hammer makes it so that the player’s hover car will break through a wall instead of crash. It’s basically an extra life and multiple can be held at one time.
There’s nothing much in the way of multiplayer in Neon City. There is the ability to compare highscores online, but that’s it. I could’ve done with racing against ghosts from other players at least. It seems like a missed opportunity in this day and age to limit a smartphone game to only keeping track of highscores as its sole aspect of multiplayer.
When it comes to ads, Neon City isn’t too bad. The ads never show up during gameplay, which is wonderful. However, they do always popup on the main menu and sometimes between runs. It’s not horrible and I’m willing to overlook it since the game doesn’t have any freemium options.
The overall look of Neon City is nice. The game is filled with bright blue neon colors with a dark black that helps ad contrast. It really does help the blue stick out. Unfortunately, there’s no choice to change the colors in the game. Like I said, the only colors are black and neon blue (minus a color change in one special area). How hard would it have been to allow players to change the neon blue to another color? Really wish this would’ve been implemented as it could give the game a personal flair for each player. The game is also 3D, which is welcome on mobile devices.
The audio in Neon City isn’t bad. It’s got a nice techno beat that plays during the main menu and races. Fits well with the whole neon shtick and all that. I wish there was a couple more songs to choose from, just for the added variety.
Overall, Neon City isn’t a bad way to waste time, but it’s not necessarily the best either. When it comes to endless runners, the Play Store is flooded with them. There are better options out there. However, it’s a free game with minimal ads and no in-app purchases. This combined with its neat visual style makes it a refreshing break from some of the more popular titles in this genre, but it won’t replace any of them either. It’s a so-so game that probably won’t be sitting on my smartphone for very long.
Neon City earns 2.5 GiN Gems out of 5!