LowRiders bounce – apparently. I wouldn’t know about such things because I’m English, but I know enough to not drink while riding in a bouncing car. That’s exactly what Vimto’s latest ad-campaign is showing with its line of fruity characters – you know, the one where the fruits bounce their car until they smash together and shower everyone in Vimto? This ad-campaign has been turned into a game for Symbian, “JuiceRider”, where you have to shake your phone and quickly draw shapes. Will it make you work up enough of a thirst to pop out to the shops though?
For those who don’t know, there is a craze over in the USA where people buy cars with very low ground clearance, “lowriders”, and customise their suspension. That enables the cars to jump, bounce, and almost dance around. It’s become a part of Urban/Rap music iconography too; hence, the Vimto ad-campaign where the fruit characters use their bouncy lowrider as a blender to impress onlooking ladies.
This game is another part of that ad-campaign, where you have to perform tricks in your lowrider to earn points. The points can be used to purchase upgrades for your car – so you have a reason to keep striving for higher scores.
Shake and bounce!
JuiceRider is one of the few mobile games that takes advantage of a device’s sensors and requires more physicality than most. To play, shake your phone to get the car bouncing, and eventually it will take-off on a super high jump. While in the air, you trace your finger over arrows on the screen to spin the car on a particular axis. As the car starts its descent, you have to be ready to shake again to repeat the bounce – but shaking too early or late will spell game over for you!
Performing mid-air tricks.
Gameplay is actually harder than it sounds. Timing the shake to rebound the car can be tricky – I often found myself shaking it too early. The game is also quite finicky about where you swipe your finger for the circular arrows (which spin the car on the axis perpendicular to the screen).
It’s not as easy as it sounds!
As you accomplish each mid-air trick, you earn a point, and a score multiplier increases, to a maximum of six. The multiplier goes back to one whenever you fail a trick. This adds extra pressure to get all the tricks right, and makes it all the more frustrating when you fall foul of gesture sensitivity.
JuiceRider will be fun to pass around a group of friends, and the advertising association is not at all intrusive – it’s just like a movie tie-in. You can get it for free in the Nokia Store.
David Gilson, 16th February 2012.