All Your Favourite Car Games, and New Ones, Too

Satisfy your need for speed playing all your favourite car racing games in a virtual environment.

Devoted gamers believe that Steve Jobs invented the computer mouse so that computerized car racing games would become both easier and more exciting. Once the mouse empowered a user to turn the cursor at oblique angles and trace curves, the horizons of virtual car racing stretched all the way out to the end of the infinite…and beyond. Simple as they are, car racing games remain among the most popular both on the internet and on handheld wireless applications. Those same devoted gamers believe Steve Jobs invented the iPhone’s motion sensor strictly for the sake of improving car racing apps.

You probably know that car games are deceptively simple: Follow the race course going as fast as you possibly can. How hard can that be? You’ve been following the same basic principles since you played car racing games on your old Commodore 64 system. Except that now, with the advent of 3D and a few other high-tech complications, game developers can bank the turns, create more dramatic spin-outs, and make the steering both more demanding and more precise.

Build your skills with “Dune Buggy.”
You may have been the Jimmie Johnson of your game console circuit, but playing car games with your computer requires adapting your skills; instead of a joy stick and a couple of buttons, you have your mouse or touchpad, your arrow keys, and your space bar. Online car games require their own unique set of skills and multi-tasks. Expect to crash spectacularly and burn in great balls of fire your first few times around the track. Of course, everybody knows “the fails” are as much fun as the great races.

Try “Dune Buggy,” one of the most popular entry-level car games at the internet’s most popular virtual arcades. “Dune Buggy” teaches you to move with the arrow keys and jump with the space bar, challenging you to navigate over, under, around, and through a variety of jumps, dips, and obstacles as you make your way through an off-road race course. Purely a game of speed and dexterity, “Dune Buggy” gets you in shape for more sophisticated car games, and you will know you are prepared for greater challenges when the trustworthy old buggy grows tiresome.

Advance to “FMX Team.”

Okay, strictly speaking, it is not a “car” game, but it counts among the leaders in the larger genre of driving games. FMX Team tests just how well you can manoeuvre those arrow keys and the space bar as you take your motorcycle through a series of tricky motorcycle stunts. The screen shows you the dirt track; a box in the screen’s upper left corner shows your stunts. You may choose among three different bikes, each equipped for different performance characteristics. As you get more comfortable with the game, you naturally will select the bike best suited to your style and level. FMX Team takes you through fifteen progressively more difficult levels; and, by the time you reach level 15, your fingers will fly around your keys so fast your friends will see just a flesh-tone blur.

Games and Brand Extension – Do They Click?

For this article I wanted to look into the way that traditional games and gaming elements have been used to enter the mainstream space from a business standpoint to either incentivise consumers or engage them on a different level.

Games are primarily an entertainment medium, but that hasn’t stopped companies from having games developed to reach a different demographic than perhaps represents their core market. An ad campaign may run for 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 2 months but branding within a game can have a much longer shelf life. The most common example of brand extension within the gaming arena focuses on movie tie-ins. Many Disney/Pixar films release a game based on the film around the same date. It helps consumers engage with the film on a deeper level and get to know the characters and brand better making it ultimately more likely that additional purchases of merchandise or DVDs are made. The main issue with game tie-ins however is often they are rushed to coincide with the film release and most end up being fairly average titles. The sheer fact that the majority are aimed at a very young audience means though that children tend not to worry too much about this and just enjoy controlling the characters.

Looking at something completely different from an engagement aspect. Papa John’s pizza in the UK released a mobile gaming app which had you deal with pizza orders and create pizzas as perfectly and speedily as possible. App was priced at 69p with the hook being if you reached a certain score then you could earn a free pizza. It was a well made game and was quite a fun stand alone game as well as being challenging in the later levels. The only disappointing part was upon reaching your free pizza it was for collection only which limited me somewhat but was still a good prize.

Weight Watchers UK campaign last year focused on treating weight loss like a game thanks to the point system that was in use. It was an interesting take on things but it wasn’t continued for the 2013 marketing campaign. Arguably, despite the fresh take on losing weight, it didn’t engage the largely female audience of its membership base as even now, females are still in the minority when it comes to enjoying games. It perhaps didn’t resonate as strongly as it should have.

When there is a natural gaming tie-in that fits organically such as in Wreck-It-Ralph you get the best of both worlds – a good film and a very relevant game. You even have in-game advertising which can be seen in many of the Need For Speed series of games. Rockstar also create such believable worlds with their Grand Theft Auto series that there are teams dedicated to creating fictional brands within this universe – they actually extend their own brands within the games and also into the real world. Rusty Brown Ring Donuts is one that always springs to mind.

I’d be interested to hear any other examples you may have experienced perhaps in countries other than the UK.

How to Look for the Best Android Apps and Games

After purchasing a new Android device, whether it is a tablet or a smartphone, we then turn to the marketplace in search of the best Android games and apps. There are numerous on-line directories available that have very comprehensive lists, some better than others. Generally these lists are divided into sections, for instance, the most popular, the hottest, the top rated, plus there are also lots of reviews to browse through for the best Android games and the best Android apps.

For those who are after Android applications, there are screenshots and quite often short videos illustrating how these apps or games work. These can be found in the arcade and action section and if you are looking for the best Android apps, these can be used for productivity, communication or entertainment purposes. Many other categories are available, from where you can choose applications or games that fulfill your needs.

Of course there are large numbers of new games and apps coming out into the marketplace every day. Some of these are free and for some, there is a small charge. The best Android games or apps can be either, if a game or app is free it does not imply any lesser quality, in many instances the opposite can be true. Most of the free apps have ads displayed and are they are usually unobtrusive, but sometimes, ads can be really annoying by blocking important content from the game or because they are placed in a position where you can touch accidentally.

Almost every Android application list website lets you subscribe to the RSS feed to get the latest updates so you’ll be the first who knows when a new app is available. Each application has a detailed description, from ratings and comments to required system permissions, screenshots or a direct QR bar code or market link for direct downloading from your phone.

As well as finding internet reviews for the best games and apps, quite often we will find out about a game or an app from a friend or colleague. Personal recommendations or reviews are always highly influential. Different groups and ages of people will be interested in different things, but there are enough of the best games and apps out there, to meet everyone’s needs.

If one particular app or game does not suit or does not perform as expected, it’s a simple process, just like programs on a laptop, to delete the game or app from one’s device. Android OS is designed in such ways that require minimal resources on the device, so it is possible to have numerous games and apps running on the one device.