Created by Imangi Studios / Rated 4+ / 1 Player / iPhone + iPod Touch / 9.0 MB / $1.99
Review written by Tim

LRS

Little Red Sled is a game that could be easily overlooked in the sea of 3D iPhone racing games. I mean, whether you’re in a car, truck, boat, jet ski, airplane, spaceship, snail, prehistoric rock-car, or sled, it’s all the same, right? Well, no. Not all tilt-to-steer games are created equal. Little Red Sled has most of the competition beat for one main reason: it’s fun. I’ve played countless demos of 3D racing titles for the iPhone and with most of them, I couldn’t get through a single lap before becoming completely uninterested. Some games get the controls right, others have real nice graphics, but most are lacking in the fun department.

LRS

Little Red Sled isn’t a racing game in the traditional sense, where you race other opponents to a finish line. Instead, you race down the hill with one or more goals to accomplish. The goals include finishing within a time limit, obtaining a certain score, collecting a certain number of presents, or running over X number of bunnies. This is a great setup for a single player racing game as I never found it that fun to just beat some computer opponents. While early levels are super easy and only require one goal, later levels combine two or three goals which really ratchets up the difficulty. For instance, if you slow down too much to control your sled in order to collect the presents, you may not finish the level in time. If you do lots of jumps off the ramps to boost your score and speed, it’s much more difficult to collect the presents. Finding the right balance may take awhile and requires some strategic thinking, but the trial and error required in these later levels never felt frustrating. I knew that if I was failing it was my lack of skill, not the game’s design or control flaws. In fact, I STILL haven’t beaten the final level and I keep coming back for more!

Little Red Sled is a game that simply must be played with the music on. This is tougher for me and my first generation iPod Touch (due to the lack of an external speaker), but I always make the effort to put on headphones with this game because the music really does enhance the experience. The music is all original music composed specifically for the game and performed on the piano. The main theme sounds like something out of a Charlie Brown cartoon and is just PERFECT for a game about kids going down a snowy mountain on a sled. In fact, all the music is extremely well done and very fitting for the style of the game. It can all be heard here along with some sound effects from the game. Speaking of sound effects, there is a certain charm to the sound effects in all their low-budget glory. The developer just got their friends in a room and started recording. Again, they fit perfect with the theme of the game, playful, humorous, and fun.

LRS

There aren’t a lot of negatives here. I suppose the style and graphics won’t appeal to everyone and while I found it charming, others might just think the graphics are poorly drawn. I do wish there were fewer tutorial and beginner type levels as I beat about half of them in one try. I fear that some people might think the whole game is like this and not really give the game a second look. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a greater variety of things to look at (and run into) to give each level a more unique feel. I consider these complaints pretty minor though, none of them dealbreakers.

At $1.99, Little Red Sled is a great value. While the beginning levels are way too easy, the last few are very challenging. The developer has already released an update with two more moderately challenging levels and some graphical enhancements, and is working on a bunch more levels to be released in a future update, so if you’re worried that the fun will run out too quickly, there’s more to come! The best part is there is now a Lite version (iTunes Link) available so try before you buy! Finally, I’d like to say that it’s very nice to see a developer so willing to get fans involved, from releasing sound effects and sound tracks, to taking suggestions for level designs. Bravo Imangi!

Stars
Version Reviewed: 1.1

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