One of my pet hates are mobile games that take ages to get going. You know, the kind of ones that make you click through a bunch of fiddly menus, then endure an unskippable opening cutscene, before finally allowing you to get down to some gameplay. That’s probably one of the reasons why I like Cars vs Bosses (out now, free) so much. This thing wastes precious little time on formalities or exposition before launching you right into the thick of a crazy, James Bond-esque car chase/firefight.

sc552x414Cars vs Bosses doesn’t have any story to speak of, but the game’s basic premise will be familiar to anyone who’s ever played Spy Hunter. You’re put behind the wheel of a sleek muscle car that’s been kitted out with fun extras like hood-mounted machine guns, and tasked with surviving for as long as possible against an endless onslaught of swarming enemy vehicles.

There’s a whole lot going on on-screen in Cars vs Bosses at all times, and the action moves at a blistering pace, so thankfully its controls are very well-designed and intuitive. As your car guns it forwards automatically, you simply drag a finger left or right across your iDevice’s touchscreen to weave through traffic, dodging bullets and mines and collecting power-ups and health pickups. Your primary weapon returns fire of its own accord, but you do have to tap the screen to activate the rest of the tools in your arsenal (homing missiles, grenadesetc).

As if that wasn’t enough to contend with, every so often the game mixes it up and throws a hulking, heavily-armored boss enemy at you. Bosses have a much larger health bar and can inflict way more damage than regular enemies, so it takes a fair amount of skillful driving/shooting and strategizing to defeat them. These intense battles were by far my favorite part of the game, and I found myself looking forward to them and dreading them in equal measure.

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As you play through Cars vs Bosses, you earn gold coins for racking up high-scores and completing missions. These coins are used to unlock and upgrade new cars and weapons. This is a free-to-play game, so of course it contains all the usual trappings like an energy system and various IAPs. The freemium aspects of the game are pretty non-intrusive though, and during my time with it I never felt like I was being aggressively pushed towards spending real money.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Cars vs Bosses. The gameplay is action-packed and engaging with a fun immediacy to it, the controls and visuals are silky smooth, and it’ll keep you busy for quite some time with hooks like unlockable cars and leaderboards. This is an exceptionally well-made game that comes highly recommended.

Verdict

Taking inspiration from arcade classics such as Spy Hunter, Cars vs Bosses serves up an intense mix of endless driving and shoot-’em-up action. A high-octane thrill ride you won’t be able to put down.

'Cars vs Bosses' Review: Burn Rubber Like a Boss
Enjoyably intense and action-packed gameplayUnfussy, intuitive controlsDecent longevity thanks to upgradeable weapons and unlockable carsWell implemented free-to-play system
Be warned: This game is VERY one-more-go-ish, so don't start playing if you've got anything important to do!
5.0Exceptional