Flying Squirrel Games: A Budding Development Team
Flying Squirrel Games are a young budding development team, who have blown on to the Xbox 360 scene in formidable fashion. With two previous Indie title’s under their belts, they’re keen to show the world just how much potential they’ve got with lucky number three.
Unexpected Success on Release
Despite being a small team with minimal budget – the day Avatar Bumper Cars released, they were sent to the top faster than the little cars they designed. Whether they foresaw it or not, they can now boast ‘Most Downloaded Indie Game’ of the day.
Xbox Live Indie Titles: Overcoming a Reputation
When you think ‘Xbox Live Indie Titles’ you either think of B-list Arcade Titles that came up short when being approved for the Xbox Live Arcade listings – or budding development teams that have an idea and with that, trying to make a name for themselves. I am pleased to say Avatar Bumper Cars sits Flying Squirrel Games securely into the second division.
Inspiration and Mechanics
Inspiration swept over the team as they were playing through the ‘Bumper Balloon Cars‘ in Mario Party 2. The Objective, simple. Each of the four participants drives around a bull-ring-esq circle trying to hit the back of your opponent’s bumper car. But deceivingly located at the rear of the cars are balloons – or in this instance, gas canisters – think of these as life lines. Every time you get slammed from behind, you lose one of your life lines. But be cunning, losing all three subsequently eliminates you from the match.
Map Skins and Customization
Effectively, that is what is on offer here. Nothing more, nothing less. Remember the fun to be had at a local theme park? If you were anything like me you’d head straight to the bumper cars. Nothing quite matched the sheer fun of being able to plough into your friends, or even people you’ve never met. If you were ever a fan of the mini-game genre, or particularly liked that mini-game sequence in Mario Party – this game is right up your alley.
There are a variety of settings for your bumper car face-offs. You have choice between four map skins, all of these places have the same proportions, with just a quick change of skin. If you are familiar with the colour spectrum, a bucket of every primary colour is at your finger tips in order to change colour of your car. Though, despite what changes you decide to alter, things struggle to differentiate from each other in order to remain fresh.
Replayability: A Future Update in the Works
The driving mechanics seem very fluid and responsive in all the right situations. I especially liked the way these mechanics had a rounded feel to them – meaning no sharp turns or power slides. While the control scheme lacked depth, I feel it would have been much unneeded depth.
Avatar Bumper Cars may be a simple game at heart. It’s undoubtable there seems to be a lot of unsung charm lurking throughout, it’s one of those titles which you could see yourself playing with a group of friends just to kill some time or to quickly settle a wager.
It was also announced by Flying Squirrel Games that their working on an upcoming patch for the game, enabling online play as well as several new game types.
Review and Conclusion
If I were to be reviewing this game post-update, I’m pretty sure that would be enough to elevate the game a lot further. As it would offer much needed replayability. As it stands, you can see everything Avatar Bumper Cars has to offer and be quite satisfied within a half