I have a confession to make. Hill Climb Racing, that charming little endlessly driving challenge thing game? It’s one of my favourite mobile games.
I originally played Hill Climb ~a year ago on my Touchpad and thoroughly enjoyed it. The challenge of using skill and pushing on further distance-wise to get more currency to upgrade the vehicle versus just upgrading the vehicle and brute-forcing progress — or even saving to unlock new vehicles and tracks made the otherwise simple and straightforward game into something which was difficult to put down.
Just one more go get that bit further! And so on.
Last week I found myself redownloading Hill Climb Racing (iOS link), after recommending it to Ben as a slightly better version of a game Miniclip had just released. And, a year later, this thing is just as good as it was. Skill is almost optional, which makes using it all the more rewarding. The option to make savvy upgrades and purchases, too, emboldens that sense of skill and reward.
Despite usually not being bothered by “EXCITING ADDITIONAL CONTENT”, I found one of the main redownload draws in Hill Climb was the lure of the new vehicles and levels which have been added since I last played — new ways to spend your currency, basically. And despite usually taking a dislike to games with currencies, the idea of having new places to spend my virtual money sounded like an appealing prospect.
Part of the reason spending my virtual cash sounded like so much fun was last time I played I had more than I knew what to do with. Whilst earning coins was a concern in the early stages, it soon became extremely easy to stockpile huge amounts of currency with nothing to do with it. As a player, being able to spend a million coins on a new car is just another way of extending the challenge.
Sadly for Fingersoft, Hill Climb’s creators, in creating a free single currency game where grinding comes naturally with playing the game, they’ve created a game which isn’t going to entice too many people into parting with their money. I’d love to know if this was deliberate or not, but I assume it’s not — as otherwise the game would be 69p and without the in-app purchases at all.
If you’re reading, Fingersoft, make Hill Climb 2 and make it with a premium hard currency to accompany the soft currency with some awesome desirable purchasables and Candy Crush style difficulty increases and you’ll be printing cash by the bucket load.
Still, the out-of-the-way IAPs combined with pick-up-and-playability and a brilliant balance between skill and challenge make for a really, really nice mobile game. Check it out; this simple physics runner should be an early contender for GOTY.