BP Ultimate Rally Challenge


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BP Ultimate Rally ChallengeThis next game offers some thrilling Shockwave 3D fun, four-wheeling under the sun in the hot Sahara Desert. The BP Ultimate Rally Challenge is an excellent 3D racing game that delivers an awesome sensation of speed and realistic physics all through the convenience of your browser.

Just hop into your Volkswagon Toureg and buckle-up. Hands on the arrow keys for controls: [left] and [right] for steering, [up] to accelerate, [down] to brake. Press [space] to refuel. Additionally, keys 1-6 allow you to change the camera view, and an options screen available from the main menu allows you to define alternatives to the keys used for control.

To stay fueled you will need to pick up fuel cans along the way, which are indicated by a visible red icon that appears well before you come upon one. You will notice two (2) different types: regular old brown fuel cans (they sort of blend in with the dirt roads), and sparkling white BP Ultimate. Of course the latter will provide you with many more miles to the gallon, so try to pick up these when you see them.

The rally is comprised of three (3) stages: a South European countryside, a steep African ravine, and the Sahara desert. Each stage is roughly 10 kilometers in length and will take about five (5) minutes to complete each one. And while there are other vehicles racing with you on the courses, the rally is about staying fueled and making it safely to the finish line.

Points are accumulated with each meter travelled, and bonus points are awarded for the number of fuel cans picked up and how fast you complete each stage. A high score list keeps track of the best rallyists.

Analysis: I had a lot of fun playing this game. The sensation of speed and realistic physics creates a sense of immersion not often experienced in a browser-based racer. The realism is outstanding for a Shockwave 3D implementation, including believable slipping and sliding that comes with travelling at high speeds and on dirt roads. I especially liked the 2nd stage through the ravine with the many bumps and steep slopes that caused the Toureg to catch lots of air. Also nice were the subtle details of the tire tracks and dust being stirred up behind while moving.

The rally aspect of the game play works very well for anyone who just wants to drive and not worry about having to maintain first place all the time. It is also an excellent tie-in for the advertiser's product placement and makes the refueling concept highly relevant to the game play.

On the downside, there are several issues that are noticeable and impact the user experience only marginally. The game's sound contains audible clicking throughout, and yet this is likely due to Director's relatively poor sound support by today's standards. Seams in the skyboxes are visible which can be somewhat distracting depending on your view. The physics for collision reactions could stand some refinement, as colliding at some angles, and with smaller vehicles, appears unrealistic.

Still, those are relatively minor considering the game was created for Shockwave 3D, a technology that was initially released in early 2001 and been given only marginal improvements since. The game ran fast and furious on my Mac Powerbook G4, which isn't the speed demon that sometimes I'd like it to be; and no visible drops in frame rate were observed. BP Ultimate Rally Challenge is excellent 3D racing fun for everyone. Click.

Created by Ben Pitt and friends at Skive Creative in the UK, which, by the way, is looking for game makers to join their collective. And yes, he's the same Ben Pitt that created RobotDuck's Yard Invaders reviewed here a couple of days ago. Besides being a talented game developer he is also a very busy guy, which stands to reason. =)

25 Comments

remember that interactive history, hotel?

youd probably know this, but the 5th episode had been released...

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Hi Jay, thanks for the great review! Just a quick note to let you know that you can pause any shockwave movie by right clicking (or ctrl-click on a mac) and selecting 'pause'! (unless the author has disabled this function). It's not disabled in the BP rally game :)

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Oye, my bad. I wish I had known that the first time I tried playing. Got a phone call in the middle and ran out of fuel in the process.

Fair enough. I'll remove that part from the review. Cheers, Ben! =)

By the way, Ben, you must have changed something with the text display since when you first announced the game, because now the text overlay bleeds off the screen on my Mac.

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After clicking "Play" i recive an Director Player Error: "Property not found #text".

I use Firefox.

cheers,
cosie

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Mac or PC Firefox? And what version of the Shockwave Player is installed?

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I use Firefox on PC.
Hmm, maybe im too dumb but i cant figure out how to get the shockwave version.
When i click on "about" after rightclicking the shockwave player they redirect me to the shockwave homepage without giving me the version number.

But i have activated the live update service, so my player should be ok.

On IE the games works. Also there a a few glitches like Music and Sound are disapearing at level 2 and the progressbar between the levels doesnt progress :-)

cheers,
cosie

P.S.: Sorry for my bad english

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Darn, I've played it twice and twice my laptops fan went into overdrive and shutdown the whole system.

Great game and graphics.

Time to clean the fan.

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Not too bad a game. Though I really don't like the advertising aspect of it..

Speaking of which, I find it kind of funny that most of the advertising-esque web-games try to have advanced 3D engines or something, but end up ultimately making a game with crappy 3D graphics and pretty horrible gameplay. I wonder if they know that it'd probably be cheaper, easier, and more popular, if they just created an interesting casual 2D game.

I mean, if AOL bought Shooot or something (which would be horrible, mind you), it'd be amazing, because people could sit there for an hour playing it and not realize it.

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Good feedback, Andrew, even though I disagree.

> I really don't like the advertising aspect of it.

The advertising aspect of the game is minimal and done in good taste. Compare this with the quantity of advertising that is quite the norm plastered over every racing vehicle in existence. They're called sponsors, and they help bring you the entertainment of the sport (or game).

> a game with crappy 3D graphics and pretty horrible gameplay.

Of course "crappy" is a matter of opinion, and if you're looking for Doom 3 or Half-Life 2 quality graphics through the convenience of your browser, keep dreaming (for the immediate future, anyway).

Furthermore, the gameplay here is not "horrible", and it effectively gets the sponsor's intended message through to the player: BP Ultimate fuel will help you get more miles to the gallon and travel farther. I believe the medium chosen is perfect.

A browser-based game maximizes the potential audience for a sponsor's message. One valid argument might have been the choice of Shockwave 3D over something a bit more ubiquitous, such as Flash. However, Flash does not yet do immersive 3D as well as Shockwave 3D can, which is probably why the decision for its use with this game.

> if AOL bought Shooot...people could sit there for an hour playing it and not realize it.

Exactly my point above. Why would a sponsor pay money to have a game developed that does nothing to convey its message to the consumer? Playing Shooot for hours, though the thought is quite appealing from a gamer's perspective, would accomplish nothing for AOL.

Sorry, Andrew. But your arguments just don't hold any water the way I see it.

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Vroom vroom vroom...crash ^^

I managed to total my vehicle. In the game, I mean. Well, in real life...no, we won't go there.

Twas a fun game.

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darren O'Donnell January 12, 2006 11:38 PM

i understand why a company like BP would use a game like this to sell product but do find it a bit of an overkill. everytime you fill up you have to read the same ad. it's enough to have their logo plastered all over the game but i feel patronized - like i haven't figured out they want me to buy their gas - when they repeatedly flash that sentence. i mean, i get it already.

thanks for the games, jay!

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isn't there a little too much similarity with another game you reviewed? i believe it was called 4wd Fury or somethin' like that

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This is a great web-based driving game! I had a lot of fun playing it. Only one problem, which was that as I was loading up the game I got pop-up notices saying that Director was missing an expected object. I'm running it on XP IE.

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I was writing a drawn-out defense, but, in doing so I realized you were right in that the game acheived what it was supposed to acheive, and probably works well for the target audience.

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It was indeed a really fun game, I really enjoyed riding the touareg. the 3D environment and the physics were really amazing for a casual web game. it's really cool that they make games like this it just keeps on getting better to play on the internet.

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beisr - good observation, the gameplay is indeed similar to 4 Wheel Fury. They are both Shockwave 3D driving games in which you must collect fuel to keep going, and yet each offers a unique experience that sets it apart from the other. The physics implementation is much better in BP Rally, while 4 Wheel Fury offers more items to collect.

darren - I suppose if you've played any of the Legend of Zelda games, you are also not a fan of the "beep beep ... beep beep ... beep beep" urgency of being down to your last heart! ;)

Andrew - I'm glad to see you've come around. =)

Thazi - and I expect that trend to continue. =D

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i don't mind urgency if it's part of the narrative of the game. but reminding me to buy British Petroleum products (something i could only do after i finish playing the game and am out in the real world) doesn't add anything to the experience.

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hahahha jay man you kick @ss, ive never seen you stand up for a game like that before!!!

this game is amazing, it loads quickly and the controls are fun, yet this game is so challenging!

i love this game, *bookmarking the game right now*

thanks alot Jay!

-/\/\@50/\

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Did anyone else have more fun staging spectacular crashes than actually driving? I know I just loved rear-ending a truck so that it spun 2160 degrees. On a side note, motorcycles are nigh invincible. I crashed into one of those things and I did an incredible octuple spin in midair.

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I played this game for the first time tonight, and did well on level 1, but then when I got to level 2 I had a glitch and had to quit the game.

I crashed, and rolled my car on it's side. The little warning thing came up that I was off road, and told me it was replacing my car in 3, 2, 1.......then it didn't!! It kept counting backwards "replacing in -1, -2, -3, ..... -150, -151, etc...." Would have been nice to either destroy my car (damage was at only 72%), run out of gas (still had a 1/4 tank and a can of BP) or to keep racing.

I don't think I'll be trying again....sort of burned me from trying it again....

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You say the physics are realistic and I have to disagree. While on the ground the car moves fairly realisticly, I'll grant that, but go over a jump and you fly in the air for ages, not in the least realistic, and very damaging to the game. I alkso agree with what someone above me said about the message when you fuel up, seemed way over the top.

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WOW, great rally game. I plan to play it every now and then when i get the chance. It works fine running in mozilla , on my ati radeon 7000 64MB.

Infact it runs perfect, now playing the game on software is bad, its slow as hell, but changing it to direct 8x hardware, it runs near perfect.

I hope to see more games in the future. Love the site btw.

Peace,
u2k

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R G Kennedy February 16, 2006 11:21 PM

Now hosted through a site named "Miniclip" with much poorer performance.

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cookiem0nster January 2, 2007 8:59 PM

um it won't replace my car it at "replaceing in -350 -351
it really annoying and i a level that I cant get back to

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Kitty Tanaka October 18, 2010 2:10 AM

As a New Orleans native resident, I wonder deeply how this can be a remotely accurate game about BP if it doesn't end in the negligent homicide of 11 workers and vast economic and environmental catastrophe. Maybe that discrepancy can be addressed in a sequel?

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