Hill Climb Racing

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The Google Play title card.

Hill Climb Racing is a casual driving game developed and published by Fingersoft for the iPhone in 2012. It was later ported to several other mobile platforms.

I found the game in 2017 while looking for free casual games to play on my phone.

Status

The game is free. I have unlocked achievements for all general distances, every track, every vehicle, upgraded 5 vehicles, all flips, all back flips, all neck flips, a coins in one run, lucky fuel, live fast flip young, casual driving, denying gravity, drop the extra weight, smashing pumpkins, Olympic medalist, and challenger. I have no interest in getting the achievements for a million meters in every vehicle or upgrading every vehicle.

Review

  • Overall: 3/10
  • Best Version: Android

Good

  • The controls are pretty responsive.
  • I like slowly building up the quality of your vehicle to get a fantastically powerful vehicle.
  • It's funny to watch the Joe and his terrified passengers die in painful ways. I only wish there were blood smears.
  • There are plenty of vehicles and tracks to drive on.
  • Some of the tracks are really fun and interesting like Boot Camp, Seasons, Halloween, and Ragnarok.

Bad

  • The upgrades are too minor to even be noticed and it takes too many to upgrade a vehicle to full power.
  • Far too many of the tracks are effectively identical to each other. For example countryside, desert, and arctic or mudpool, volcano, and beach.
  • Far too many of the vehicles are effectively identical to each other. Only a few actually have unique aspects to them.
  • Going in or out of the selection menus has a annoying delay, and it's not very responsive, often over or under-shooting the item you want to select.
  • Sometimes the ad in the selection menu doesn't hide while driving and gets in the way.
  • It's clear that the designers only focused on the beginning of the maps. As you get further into them, they become more erratic and less polished. Coins are partially in the ground, textures become very stretched, etc.
  • I wish there were more tricks you could do. Your only repeatable tricks are the flip and backflip.
  • Don't play the game in a bathroom stall with the volume on because the title music is indistinguishable from porn music!
  • Several of the backdrops have noticeable seams.
  • Despite the title, the game is not a racing game, but a driving game because you don't compete against another player or a clock.
  • Most of the challenge maps are effectively impossible. They often expect distances much further than I can even achieve on the regular map, let alone the more difficult challenge maps. And, since they're partially randomly generated, they sometimes create broken maps. I once played a Boot Camp challenge where the floor and ceiling intersected before the first coin.

Ugly

  • For the many hours I've put into the game, I've never really felt like I accomplished anything.

Strategy

Some tips for getting the most money:

  • Ignore the jeep and motorcross bike and get and upgrade the monster truck as soon as possible. Until I got to the more expensive vehicles, I found it to be the most fun to drive and got the furthest on most stages with it.
  • For quick money, a fully-decked out monster truck can earn $100,000+ for each ride on the Moon. Just hit big air and do lots of flips.
  • To get really far on the Moon, buy about 5 boosts. When you get to the first really tall hill, start boosting your way into the air. Continue boosting to get higher and faster. You will soar very far.
  • The most money I am able to get in the game is from a decked-out tractor on the highway. The tractor gets fantastic mileage so you can get very far in the level. At around 7,000 meters or so you reach peak coin frequency and quantity where they come every few meters and are all $500. Plus, the heavy weight of the tractor makes it more likely to get them, even when traveling at high speeds.
  • I found the Big Finger to be far and away the best vehicle primarily because of its roll cage which allows you to be less vigilant about head injuries.

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