Set in a pre-apocalyptic Earth after an economic collapse, James Carbon rides in the night, sweeping past the private police of giant Danger City corporations to reclaim gold coins that he believes belong to its downtrodden people. That’s the backdrop for Heist and Run free in the App Store, a cartoon styled free racing game made for the iPhone and iPad.
Heist and Run is a fast, but casual, racing game played by driving the get away car by tapping the left or right sides of the screen or by tilting the iPhone via the accelerometer. The objective is to go as far as possible and collect gold coins for upgrades on its endless three-lane track, while avoiding the crooked cops of Danger City. Earn extra coins by zigzagging through traffic like a boss. But watch out, if you don’t lose the cops quickly enough, more of them will join in to take you down. Smack into three cars and the game is over.
The cops are the initial obstacle in Heist and Run. Speed and the dynamically created traffic get in the way to add difficulty the further a user progresses. The difficulty ramps up somewhat quickly, so you may need to play a few games in order to purchase the least expensive power-up. Coins can be earned or purchased, which is typical for free games. What isn’t typical but welcomed in this game, is that is does not have ads. Ads in games have been known to run through a battery faster because it constantly tries to connect to an ad server. The downloading of graphics in the background can cost users in the long run by chewing through a data plan as well.
Other than the App Store connection for coin purchasing, it’s a simple game under the hood, which isn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with iCloud syncing or Apple Game Center tracking. iCloud syncing and Game Center tracking are two features that can be found on many paid games. They are technologies that sync purchases, unlocked levels and an ongoing score across multiple devices on the same iTunes account. If the user were to buy a new car from the garage on an iPod, it would sync via the cloud to the same game on an iPad, that’s also connected to the user’s account.
Syncing to the cloud might be coming, but for now the upcoming features, as mentioned by the developer Odin Game Studio, are more languages, obstacles, different road tracks, cars and missions. That’s a hefty list of planned features for a free game. I hope that the ads are kept clear in future versions, but as I have seen many times before in free games, they could show up later.
Heist and Run has a total of five cars, nine power-ups and options to purchase three gold coin packs at varying amounts and price points. The power-ups offered are turbo boost, a protective shell, a magnetic force field that attracts coins, a fourth extra life, doubling of collected coins, a fifth extra life, tripling of collected coins, a sixth extra life and a quadrupling of collected coins.
The coin packs are where the developer makes their money and for now, is why the game doesn’t have ads everywhere. Users are offered 100,000 gold coins for $0.99, 300,000 gold coins for $1.99 and 500,000 gold coins for $2.99. 100,000 gold coins would help to purchase a new car from the garage and a few power-ups with some left over.
The turbo boost helped me to add more gold coins to my bank faster, while unlocking a fun way to zip around traffic with flames coming from the backend of my car. Power-ups, like the protective shell, come with a time limit that’s displayed on the right. Keep an eye on it to position the racecar closer to the next power-up, which will help to keep the game going.
The game started off somewhat easy, but after playing it for a while, it did get more challenging. Earning gold coins, rather than buying them right away, made for a more tricky experience. After a few tries, I converted some of the banked gold coins to purchase a power-up. Power-ups helped to add more gold coins faster to my bank. Purchasing power-ups is recommended to earn enough gold coins for a new car from the garage. I like that Heist and Run will continue to add cars and obstacles to keep things fresh.
As an initial release and a free download, kudos to Odin Game Studio for rendering a cool introduction video to set it apart from most other free games I’ve tried. Heist and Run is available now for free in the Apple iTunes App Store, however 100,000 gold coins are offered for $0.99, 300,000 gold coins at $1.99 and 500,000 gold coins at $2.99. These help to purchase power-ups and tricked out cars.
I liked being challenged by starting without coins. But once I got the hang of controlling the car via accelerometer, I enjoyed the fast paced but casual racing format even more. I was able to earn coins faster by purchasing power-ups, which can lead to affording better cars. I wanted to play the game longer than I normally would other free games because ads were not constantly blinking around my screen or between transition points.
Choosing a free game to download from the Apple iTunes App Store can be like playing craps in Vegas, so stack the odds in your favor by downloading Heist and Run, a racing game compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPad mini. The game was fun enough that I have saved it to play and to check out future upgrades.
- Good difficulty level
- No advertisements which saves on battery and data
- Free for iPhone, iPad and iPod
- No iCloud syncing for coins, cars or power-ups purchased
- Accelerometer only controlling leads to screen dim during game play
- Too cartoon like, needs multiple alternating police siren sounds
Download Heist and Run now, free in the App Store!