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Beach Buggy Racing
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Beach Buggy Racing is a standard kart racing game with mild cartoonish violence. Players bash into each other and use weapons to get ahead, but there's little to worry about overall in this pretty fun racer. Although there are interstitial video ads, and the system prevents you from playing long periods without performing actions (such as watching an ad or paying cash), users can bypass that by purchasing the premium version for $5.
What's it about?
Racers attempt to finish first in a series of races, ultimately facing a "boss" who becomes playable once you've beat him or her. You steer the car via the gyroscope in your mobile device, and you brake by touching the bottom half of the screen. After running over power-ups, which range from a speed burst to rockets that take out your opponents, touch the upper right screen to use them -- and the upper left screen to use a one-time character-specific power-up.
Is it any good?
BEACH BUGGY RACING blends the excitement of kart racing with some clever power-ups, helping it stand above some of its competitors. Although the game is fairly generic, it gets a lot of little things right. The graphics are great, the races are well-paced, and the controls work well. Also, if you don't want to sit through ads or you fume when you can't continue playing without waiting or paying for more turns, the premium version can be worth it.
The lack of an online multiplayer mode is a bit curious, given how popular these games are. The single-player campaign is certainly worth the time, but the real joy in kart racers often comes from squaring off against real people. Still, Beach Buggy Racing is a fun diversion if you're a karting fiend.