Game Reviews

Game Review: Burn Rubber in League of Monkeys’ Torque Burnout

League of Monkeys is a game development company based in Melbourne, Australia. They recently released a racing game meant for those that enjoy cars with souped up engines, and racing challenges, that can only be completed with great driving skill. Torque Burnout is for those that love to hear engines roar, and like the smell of burnt rubber. If that is your cup of tea, Torque Burnout is available to download in the Play Store.

There are a lot of driving games in the Play Store. Series like Real Racing and Asphalt series are extremely popular. Torque Burnout almost fits into a different genre. The game is more about executing fine driving skills, while behind the wheel of a car with a monster engine. Driving out of control is not really recommended on confined courses, but now you have an opportunity to see what that feels like. The racing is a bit tougher, but if you can execute the challenges successfully, it can be quite rewarding.

“Torque Burnout is an unashamedly over the top ‘driving’ game which combines the best parts of every racing game! Grip the wheel, put your foot to the floor and drive like a maniac, completing donuts and drifts like a champion. Evolve your ride and push it to its limits, rally the crowd into a frenzy and then push it some more to reign supreme as the Burnout King!” – League of Monkeys

The graphics in the game look good. The renderings of the cars are high-quality, and the environments are relatively detailed as well. There is nothing quite like trying to maintain a beast of an engine, while narrowly avoiding obstacles on the courses. The game is broken up into different sections: Test Drive, Freestyle, Challenge, and Championship. A fair amount of your time will be spent playing the Challenge Mode which has 24 challenges for you to complete. There are three different arenas for you to compete in, and each arena as you level up, allows you to add modifiers like oil barrels, bowling pins, etc. You never control where these items are placed, the AI takes care of that for you.

I really, really want to enjoy Torque Burnout. However, there are a few things that limit the amount of fun I have while playing it. The first is the choice and implementation of the controls. Granted, I enjoy racing games more, when I have the option of using a physical controller. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an option to play with my Shield controller, or any other controller for that matter. The options you are given are buttons, steering wheel and tilt. I tried all three different options, and to me, the button setup worked best. I am not exactly sure what I experienced when I chose the tilt option. It didn’t work well for me. I wish you were able to switch the location of the buttons, it would make controlling the vehicle a bit easier. The steering left and right arrows are on the left side of the screen, while the acceleration is on the right, along with the brake. There are emergency brakes on both sides of the screen. It may be because I am right-handed, but I tend to control games better with my right hand, and like to leave things like acceleration, which takes less control in my brain anyway, on the left. The option to switch things up would be nice.

Torque Burnout Features:

  • Realist burnout simulation complete with gorgeous smoke, bursting tires and flaming engines!
  • A wide variety of cars each with unique handling and customization.
  • Thundering engine sounds that will send chills down your spine.

Coming Soon:

  • Challenge and Tournament modes.
  • New arena modifiers like massive junk yard magnets, wrecking balls and much more.

The second item that is limiting the fun in the game, is that pretty much everything costs coins in this game for you to play. The game is free to play, and there is the typical in-game bank, where you can purchase a stack of credits. The highest amount is $72.00. The cheapest is $.99, where you get 20,000 coins. As you level up in the game, you can modify your tires, engine, wheels, paint job, etc. You can also purchase different cars as you progress. The problem arises quickly because you either have to play a lot of the Freestyle portion of the game to earn coins, or you are going to have to be very good at completing the courses in challenge mode, and improving your reputation, by driving with style. 

As an example, if you don’t successfully complete a course in the right amount of time, you have to use in-game coins to play a level over. That is extremely frustrating, because you aren’t rewarded for trying the same level again, to get it right. It feels as if you are being setup to fail. That may not be the intent, but less than favorable controls don’t help things any. That is really unfortunate too because, underneath the hood of this game, there are some high-quality parts that have been put in place. Separately they have moments where they shine, but as a whole, they seem to detract from what could be a wonderful game that you could spend a long time playing.

Should you download Torque Burnout? I would say that if you like racing games of this nature, you can give it a try. There have been some favorable reviews in the Play Store, but sometimes, you just aren’t sure about the validity of those brief statements. The controls may not affect you like they did me. If they don’t, you have a better chance at winning and enjoying more of the game. So, I guess I would say it is best to proceed with caution. I think if the game designers tweaked the mechanics a bit, and threw in a few upgrades to the game in the right places, the game could be excellent. In its current state, the fun burns out a bit more quickly than I am used to.

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