Hovercraft Takedown by J

There’s a ton of mini-games in Kingdom Hearts 2 but there’s one particular game that I liked most – Gummi Ship.  I used to spend countless hours building and play-testing space ships – from sleek, efficient, star-blasting death machines to the totally silly and hilarious jokes from outer space.

And then several years into the present, I came across this game – Hovercraft Takedown.  You are in a futuristic highway patrol hovercraft and your goal is to blast baddies with your weapons.  Sounds pretty simplistic, right?  But it promised a similar experience to Gummi Ship: design your hovercraft then see how well it performs.

Here’s how it plays out.img_1727

Basically, you destroy enemy hovercrafts by shooting at them or by ramming them.  Weapons either shoot straight ahead or lock on nearby enemies.  You touch the left and right edges of your screen to steer.

Each time you get damaged, your hovercraft loses cubes.  You get damaged by colliding with an enemy vehicle, receiving a blow from hostile weaponry, getting hit by flying debris, scraping a wall, going off the path and touching the road.  It’s fun to see your hovercraft still showing some heart after enduring a heavy beating.

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Your hovercraft consists of different types of cubes: core, thruster, weapon and normal.

  • Core: there’s only one core block in your craft.  It’s the purple one with the lightning symbol on all sides.  Once it gets destroyed, game over.  Cubes not connected to the core fall off.
  • Thruster: you have a maximum of six of these.  They’re the yellow ones with a diamond inside a broken square symbol on all sides.  These blocks make your hovercraft float.  Placement of these cubes determine your hovercraft’s balance.  Getting these destroyed will cause your vehicle to tilt and risk touching the road.
  • Weapon: you start with two of these but get up to five after levelling-up.  They’re the red ones with the cross-hair symbol on all sides.  These blocks serve as your weapon hard points.  Getting one destroyed will cause the weapon you’ve assigned to it to be unusable.  As a consolation, though, you cause slightly more damage when ramming enemy vehicles.
  • Normal: these cubes come in different colors.  They actually do nothing except protect the more important cubes of your hovercraft.

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When the police need back up, they call Son Gokou.  Cha-la!  Head cha-la!

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The game physics is excellent.  You lose cubes where you receive damage.  Losing key thrusters causes your hovercraft to tilt or sometimes do barrel rolls.  You can absent-mindedly fly over debris and find yourself launched high into the sky.  Getting rammed sideways may send you into a spin.

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When you destroy an enemy vehicle, it explodes and sends hazardous debris in its vicinity.  There’s also a big chance it drops a coin you can drive over to pick up.

Coins let you buy a booster pack.  Small packs contain 2 cards and you get a free one every 3 hours.  Large packs contain 4 cards and you get a free one every 6 hours.

Cards may be power-ups, new weapon types, weapon color variants (I still don’t have the red blaster!), vehicle variants, upgrade points, blueprint points or more coins.  Upgrade points are used to increase the stats of your hovercrafts.  Blueprint points are used to buy vehicles.  Buying a vehicle with more weapon hard points than your current one will let you use the same number of weapon hard points on all other vehicles you own.

Final thoughts

  • Can be played offline.  No need to worry about wi-fi coverage.
  • Excellent game physics.  It places special importance on the location of your blocks.
  • Weak social gaming element.  You can post replays of your runs at Everyplay and there’s a point ranking system, that’s it.  It might be great if friends can share hovercraft designs in the future.
  • Ads.  There’s a poster ad at the end of every run so you will or you won’t see a lot of these depending how good your hovercraft is.  You can turn these off by forking out real world money.  There’s also an option to watch a video ad in exchange for in-game coins.
  • Lifespan.  You can design hovercrafts of different forms then tweak block placements to maximize performance.  You can experiment with different weapon types and variants to find the combination to suit your playing style (or to look ultra cool).  However, it’s just a highway through a mesa landscape right now but hopefully they’ll add more scenery in the future.
  • Kid-friendly.  Y made a hovercraft shaped like a mouse and she’s proud of her work.  It shoots bullets, lasers and missiles from its butt.

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