Following last week’s very welcome announcement of BBR2: IA’s imminent arrival on Apple TV (April 28), ATVG has been putting some solid laps into Vector Unit’s kart racing sequel.
Keep in mind this is not the free-to-play mobile version of BBR2, this is the full, premium, paid console version that’s currently available on Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC via Steam, complete with the Island Adventure subtitle. Once you’ve got the game, you’ve got the whole game. No currency-driven business models, no ads, no in-app-purchases. Just pure kart racing, a genre when at its purest, targets fun.
And BBR2: IA hits the bulls-eye.
“Big games in small packages,” boasts Vector Unit’s mission statement, while expanding on that mission by aiming “to take that big game experience and cram every ounce of its goodness into every tiny downloadable game we develop.”
BBR2: IA is certainly an example of that aim being achieved, and if you take some time to check out the developer’s other Apple TV offerings such as Riptide GP: Renegade, Mousebot, and of course the original Beach Buggy Racing, you’ll find the studio hitting its mark time and time again.
The original Beach Buggy Racing on Apple TV offers an excellent free-to-play alternative, but the sequel brings more of everything. A lot more. Let’s crunch some numbers.
Quick Race mode presents no less than 23 tracks to jump straight into, and each can be mirrored to offer even more variety. The tracks don’t just come in your standard forest, lava, sand and snow varietals either, but are genuinely original – with titles such as Aquarius, Emberhall, Dino Jungle and Red Planet giving you a good idea of the creative design.
In Quick Race mode weather can also be customised – with options such as Clear Blue Sky, Hazy Sunset, Sunrise and Light Rain – as can the actual race rules. Horsepower, powerups (of which there are 44!), lap numbers and more can all be tweaked for a customisable solo experience, or saved for 4-player local split screen experimental madness.
Adventure Mode is where you’ll find your solo campaign waiting for you, with progression depicted via an island map (see above). New sections of the island are unlocked by earning stars, with vehicle upgrades and new drivers (14) all waiting to be unlocked as well.
There’s also more than 40 cars to earn for your garage, and they not only look different (really different – moon rovers!), but have varying stat configurations for handling, armour and so on, meaning you’ll no doubt find one that becomes your favourite, suiting your driving style. Car upgrades earned apply to all cars you’ve unlocked, which nicely does away with having to grind each car up to a satisfactory level.
Even more variety comes from the 14 drivers, as each one bring a different special ability to the track. Special abilities can be used a couple of times per race, and with names like Tiki Curse, Dance Fever, Burning Rubber and Ball Blaster, part of the fun is discovering what each one does.
Rounding out the modes are Championships and Tournaments.
Championships – of which there are 9 – are made up of multiple races over themed sets of tracks, such as the initial Paradise Cup. Most of the Championships are made up of three or four races, while the Ultimate Cup contains a whopping 23 events.
Tournaments are where you’ll find BBR2: IA’s timed events. At the time of writing there’s just over one day left of a drift tournament, and four days left in the Super Time Tournament, with drivers from around the world posting their best times in a set track and car, competing for leaderboard bragging rights. The Bomb Battle Tournament is next up in the Coming Soon section, arriving in a little over four days time.
All up, there’s lots of ways to enjoy BBR2: IA on Apple TV, whether solo or with the family or friends.
The sheer volume of content would be nothing if BBR2: IA didn’t bring the fun.
Gorgeous cartoon visuals permeate the track, character and car designs, begging for fan art, while acoustic guitars and tropical percussion complement the aesthetics to round out Island Adventure’s paradise karting ambience.
BBR2: IA really is a big game, but if it’s a small package then it’s definitely bursting at the seams.
Kudos to Vector Unit for continuing to gamble on the Apple TV platform.
(this is not an affiliate link, ATVG is not getting a cut from sales of BBR2: IA)
If you’re new to The Apple TV Gaming Blog (ATVG), or just new to Apple TV gaming in general, or both, then the best place to get acquainted is our Best Apple TV Games of 2020 article. You’ll find a great collection of games to play, and a bunch of useful links to our previous site content. Welcome aboard. Enjoy the ride.