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From its animated opening cut-scene to its dazzling DayGlo-infused tracks, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D brings console-style racing to the iPhone. If you don’t immediately recognize the name, Crash is the furry, PlayStation-born answer to Nintendo’s Mario—and he’s got the kart-racing cred to prove it.
CBNK’s controls couldn’t be much easier: You’re always going full throttle, so all you have to do is steer (done by tilting the iPhone, natch), jump (by tapping either edge of the screen with your thumb), and drift around corners (by tapping, holding, and tilting). That leaves you free to gather power-ups and “Wumpa fruit” (10 of which give you a speed boost).
The game comes with 12 tracks divided into three “cups.” You must finish the first cup (coming in third or better) to unlock timed-trial and story modes. These modes add some extra replay value to the game, which is good considering the relatively limited number of tracks. There’s also a tutorial level for racing novices and an instruction guide that provides full gameplay details.
If ever a game begged for multiplayer support, it’s this one. (The Sony PSP can do it, so why not the iPhone?) Even so, Crash Bandicoot easily leaves Moto Racer in the dust and bests the nearly-as-good Cro-Mag Rally.A perfect port of a console classic, Crash Bandicoot is sure to wow the kids—and at least a few grown-ups.