Aquapark is a free, fast-paced, and addicting mobile racing game with a twist: Instead of driving cars or flying ships, you're zipping headfirst down a long water slide. The goal is straightforward, the mechanics are intuitive, and it's a fun, quirky little distraction of a game.
Slide, bank, dodge, and fly
The game is simple, but winning isn't always.Aquapark is what you'd expect from an arcade-inspired mobile game, and it's perhaps a bit more. Right off the bat you're flung into the action, zipping down a high-adrenaline water slide, skirting your way past players as you aim to flop over the finish line into the pool before they do. The ultimate goal is to score first place, but you can earn points in other ways, such as knocking other players off the slide or nailing a tough landing after plummeting off the side. Completing races rewards you with in-game coins which can be used to customize your appearance in one of several skins, and after you complete a handful of races you'll then unlock new maps to play on. These maps range from sunny beaches, majestic temples, mountain ranges, and medieval castles. There's even one made of ice cream if you want to fulfill your childhood dream of sliding down a giant sundae.
What starts out a very simple concept gradually turns into something just a bit bigger and more interesting as you progress through the races and maps. Suddenly you'll start encountering boosts to speed up your character's descent, or obstacles to impede you: Crashing into walls of boxes or edging into geysers will slow you or fling you into the air. The game is simple, but winning isn't always. there's a little bit of strategy you can try to employ if you want to come out on top.
While the end goal is to win, there's a few tricks you can consider using at tactical times to boost your chances. Knocking players off-course is all well and good, but if they manage to keep their cool and stick the return landing, they could end up closer to the finish line than you! It's generally best to save your untamed aggression for later in the race. It might even be wise to intentionally fly off the slide if you think you can land further down and get a literal jump start. Similarly, being a bully and trying to knock players to their doom might end up pushing them ahead of you if you hit them in the feet instead of the side.
Lastly, there's some light customization options available to players who are interested in such things. The only thing you can really spend your coins on (at least right now) is new appearances, of which there are 17 with more coming soon. If you're tired of sliding around as a girl in a two-piece, switch it up and play as a tabby cat, a zebra, or a bear. Imagine being a kid about to cross the finish line, then turning around to see a roaring bear about to overtake you and steal the crown.
Where can you run this program?
You can download Aquapark on Android. You will require Android 4.4 or higher.
Is there a better alternative?
If you're looking for a simple, free, one-shot 'racing' game Aquapark is a great choice. If you want something that goes a lot deeper and will satisfy you more in the long-term, then there are better options available. Asphalt 9: Legends is one such title, with a lot more room for customization (there are up to 800 separate races, better graphics, an original soundtrack, and a career mode that spans 60 seasons). Considering that Aquapark and Asphalt 9 are both free games, you can tell a lot more polish and detail went into the latter. If you're craving strategy, then a game like Motorsport Manager is probably more up your alley (although that one's not free).
Aquapark does suffer from the expected micro-transactions, but their influence is thankfully kept to a minimum. You can earn coins by racing, but can instead throw a few dollars at it to immediately get anywhere between 2,500 and 10,000 coins. 10,000 coins will cost you $2.99. Considering that we were able to get 2,000 coins after just 15 minutes of gameplay, we encourage you not to spend your hard-earned cash - especially since all coins will really give you is new appearances.
In the end, the biggest point against Aquapark is that it's plagued with ads. From as early on as the title screen there's ads in your face. Worse still, yet more ads will play whenever you complete a race, regardless of whether you win or lose. Considering how fast these races go, you'll probably end up spending more time watching ads than actually racing. Lastly, on older devices you might experience some hitches and stuttering when you're zipping along at high speeds and the screen is suddenly bombarded with other players and animated geysers. Since you'll need fast accuracy to stick the best landings, make hairpin turns turns, and nudge players at just the right time, any kind of lag is extra frustrating.
Aquapark isn't the deepest game, but that's not what it set out to be. Rather it's a simple, arcade-style racing game with a few twists that make it stand out from the crowd. We do think the game could be improved without needing to add any unnecessary clutter. Telling players their lap time upon completion of a race would be a neat feature, and live competitive races with friends would create a more fun atmosphere and earn Aquapark more positive feedback, entertainment, and word of mouth.
Should you download it?
Absolutely. If you're looking for frenetic, fast-paced fun, this is an excellent little app. There are other racing games available on mobile, but this one stands out for being engaging right away, and keeping the pace fast enough so that players will keeping returning for "just one more race."