Daily iPhone App: Top Bot combines 2D platforming with asychronous racing
Top Bot, free on the App Store, has really grown on me since I first started playing it, and I think I can tell you exactly why: It's a racing game that plays like a 2D platformer. Yes, during the tutorial of the game, you play as a little robot who can fly across a 2D landscape, shooting up or down to dodge obstacles, and speed-boosting along. But a few laps in, your opponents show up, and then it becomes clear that this isn't just a game where you're exploring a level, this is a game where you're racing, against time and your friends.
And it's that surprise that really won me over with Top Bot. Of course, the game's polish didn't hurt: Not only does it run very smoothly despite all of the asynchronous multiplayer going on, but the graphics are colorful, simple and straightforward, which is exactly what you want in a title with hidden depth like this. In addition to just racing for the leaderboards, you can also customize your little bot in all kinds of ways with coins you earn, or of course you can spend IAP on coins if you don't want to do the racing. I do have one big issue with the game, and it's that on my iPhone 5, the graphics are still letterboxed. At this point, how is it possible to release a game without the bigger screen compatibility?
Other than that one problem, though, Top Bot is a great title. Exactly how well it does will depend on how many users it can grab -- like the great Disc Drivin', this one's going to be most fun when your friends are playing along with you. But even if it never quite reaches critical mass, Top Bot still deserves plenty of props for doing an experience like this just right.