Get ready for some wanton rotary action! Introducing Rally Copters, a 2D physics-driven time trail game. Control your own helicopter in a bid to reach checkpoints, avoid impending danger and execute a safe landing without getting mud all over your face.
Rally Copters is set in a futuristic world where neon lights shine out in an arcade Tron-like vibe. The premise is a simple one; your helicopter needs to pass gingerly through checkpoints that are dotted throughout each level. Standing in the way of this task are some crazy and bizarre obstacles, all moving and swinging back and forth and all within a hair’s breadth of your copter. Manoeuvrability is the key to success in preserving your precious blades, and the twin stick controls make gliding past obstacles, dogging projectiles and swooping through narrow collapsing tunnels a breeze to perform. Each element that lies in your path can pulverise you into submission, sending a blanket of red smoke out of your rear end and throwing you into a rotating nose drive to destruction. Luckily checkpoints act as save points so each obstacle can be dealt with one at a time.
It may all sound like a perilous flight, but where Rally Copters just misses the mark is that it’s really not that difficult. That is until you hit level 23. There are 27 scrolling stages, but it’s only from level 23 onwards where the game suddenly delivers a cruel blow and becomes incredibly mean. As hard as actually trying to pilot a real copter I would imagine. The game can be polished off quickly up until this point, but you’ll be trying to master the devious traps and end finale for many hours after that. Completing the game with the Mosquito earns you the Never Gonna Give You Up trophy. You will be sinking many gaming hours into that one. The different unlockable copters offer different handling abilities and speed. As each level is timed, be wise in which one you select.
There’s not a great deal of variety in Rally Copters, but gameplay does get mixed up with collecting the flag levels. Also splitscreen, two-player races allow you to compete head-to-head with a friend, which is only offered on PS4 version. There are little tricks Rally Copters has up its sleeve that do make things a tad more interesting. A quick flip of the right trigger performs a ‘flip-dodge’ which enables you to glide through hazards for a split second. Also a little boost can help you race though tight gaps as they shrink before your eyes. Radar can also help guide you onto the next checkpoint as they appear off screen and need hunting down. With all this acting out over a pounding rock soundtrack, Rally Copters really has its own thing going.
If you’re the competitive type, Rally Copters offers a platinum finish for each run through, which brings more longevity to the game. Forget hovering about – the times to beat require a foot-to-the-floor finish. Adding a twist to the leaderboards is that they are constantly updated, so a decent time earning you a gold medal one day can be lost and demoted to a bronze the next day. Charming.
Rally Copters is an enjoyable rally in the sky and despite its slim package does bang out a gratifying experience. If you want a throwback to the 90’s complete with a neon finish, this copter game just about does the trick. Just don’t forget the crash landing finale ending – you’ve been warned.
Rally Copters is currently only available on the NA PSN store.
Lizard Rating – 6/10