At first glance, Lucky Kat Studios's Road Warriors may look like yet another 2D pixel racing game on Android, but the truth is that it offers a fresh new take on the genre that keeps the player coming back for more. So if you love racing at breakneck speeds while performing flips and mowing down your opponents in extreme detail within bullet-time events, then you are going to want to check out this new addition to the Play Store today.
Normally I tend to shy away from coin collecting auto-runner games on Android as the majority of them offer the exact same experience. The thing is, after one round of Road Warriors I was hooked. And sure, it uses many of the same mechanics we are all familiar with, but it does so in a way that has kept me entertained the entire time.
The way Road Warriors works is you are dropped into your starter vehicle to race on that day's track. Each day there is a new track to race on, which keeps the gameplay pretty fresh. You can even unlock a previous day's track with coins or by watching an optional advertisement. Your goal in each of these races is to make it through all four checkpoints of the track, collecting as many coins as possible while finishing the race in the shortest amount of time. Each checkpoint can be used as a save point as long as you pay some coins or watch an optional advertisement. You can also skip the save and keep your coins, but if you die, you will go back to your last save or the beginning of the race.
Once you earn enough coins, you can then start purchasing new parts for your vehicle. You do this through a gacha lootbox system, where you spend your earned coins on blind box pulls. These pulls will net you an assortment of differing parts that will allow you to customize your car to your preferred racing habits. There are four sections to each vehicle that allow for these hot swappable parts, and each part can be upgraded on their own. I find that this system leaves you plenty of room to split your effort, as you can try your luck for new parts that may be more powerful, or you can just upgrade the parts you already own.
While coins are sold in packs in exchange for in-app purchases that range up to $14.99, there is also an IAP for $3.99 that unlocks all of your races checkpoints, which gives you quite the leg up when trying to earn as many coins as possible through gameplay. This way you never have to worry about spending your hard earned coins on save points, which essentially turns the game into a premium release. Sure those other coin packs still exist, but you will no longer find that they are necessary to advance at a reasonable pace.
Now, when it comes to the specifics of how you race, your car will move along the track all on its own. Your job is to perform as many flips as possible while also shooting at any AI opponent that crosses your path. When you want to flip, you simply hold your thumb on the screen until you feel you are done flipping. Just make sure that the bottom of the car aligns with the course, otherwise you will crash and burn. As for shooting enemies, this is done through a quick-time event that slows the race down while you tap furiously on your zoomed-in opponent, hoping to hit them with your weapons. The reason you want to perform these flips and blow your enemies to bits is that completing these tasks will give you a speed boost. This boost is important, as it not only speeds up your racing time but it allows you to blow through obstacles that are scattered around each track. If you are not boosting when you hit one of these obstacles, you will die. This is where the challenge and excitement of Road Warriors come into play, as you need to make it past each obstacle while moving at breakneck speeds, all while performing flips and shooting your enemies every chance you get.
While it is worth pointing out that I have noticed advertisements between rounds of play, they don't appear after every round, and they can be closed immediately. And if you do happen to pay the $3.99 IAP to unlock all track checkpoints, these particular ads will be removed. I have also noticed that there Road Warriors includes support for Google Play Games and its achievement system, though cloud saving and leaderboards don't look to be included. Also, for those of you who are storage conscious, the game only takes up 104 MB on my GS8+.
So while I totally understand that Road Warriors may seem like just another auto-runner game with lootboxes and coin packs, the fact that you can pay a single fee to unlock all of the title's checkpoints allows this title to veer squarely into premium release territory. The art is infectious, the gameplay is challenging and fun, plus you get to race on a brand new course every single day. Honestly, I am finding very little wrong with this release. It would appear that Lucky Kat Studios has pulled off what many other studios can't seem to figure out. Simply offer rewarding gameplay that isn't completely geared towards endless IAP purchases and lo and behold you have a good game.