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Top Gear Dare Devil
Review By: Jared Black
Developer:   Papaya Studio
Publisher:   Kemco
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Driving
ESRB:   Everyone
Date Posted:   01-01-01

Many new genres were created as gaming shifted from primarily 2D to 3D-based games, but perhaps the most successful of these newfound genres has been the city-based driving game. Not only has it produced some of the better games in recent memory (such as Driver, Carmageddon and MSR), but it has also proven to be a big hit with consumers as sales in this genre continue to impress. Given this proven success, it makes perfect sense for newcomer Papaya Studio's first game to be a driving game. Luckily, they didn't just follow the same standards set by other driving games. Rather, Top Gear Dare Devil has enough uniqueness on its own to provide a fresh gaming experience.

Features:

-27 stages
-12 different cars
-4 bonus stages
-3 multiplayer modes (Bomb Tag, Lap Racing and Coin Grab)

As a member of the Dare Devils (an international racing club), you're determined to collect all 775 Dare Devil coins and own the best cars in the world. Thus you set out to do just that. You'll make your way through 27 different levels set in Rome, London, Tokyo and San Francisco, plus other cities which can be unlocked over the course of the game. The fact that this game has 27 different stages is actually a bit misleading, as each city is actually one big game map. What differs from stage to stage is the placement of coins and other power-ups within the city. Thus, once you learn the layout of each city it's really a matter of planning the best way to go in each stage.

Stage objectives consist primarily of attempting to collect a certain number of coins within the allotted time (ex: 20 out of 25 available) and then making it to the end zone before time runs out. In each stage you'll have a set time limit of 60 seconds, but along the way you can collect watches which extend this time by 5-15 seconds. Other items you can collect in each stage include Nitro (a short speed boost), Bonus Keys (collect each key to open a bonus stage) and Credits (gives you an extra continue). In addition to collecting coins, the other main goal is to collect as many points as possible. Points are earned by either crashing into things or by jumping. For the most part this is implemented well, except that they made some weird choices about what is and isn't destructible. Crashing through the windows of a building is nothing at all, but running into a street lamp will grind your car to a halt. That just doesn't make any sense. Still, you'll quickly adjust to what can and can't be destroyed, and at least the game stays consistent (versus a game like Roadsters where the same object can be destroyed in one level and not the next). So overall the gameplay is very fun, although a bit repetitive after extended play since your objectives are basically the same from level to level.

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