Three, two, one, go! VROOM! SCREEeee! CRSSHH, BEEP BEEP! NEEE-NAAW! REeeek, SSSsss. Danger Zone takes children’s inner monologues when they’re playing with cars, and splashes them across a screen for your entertainment. The premise couldn’t be simpler. Take one car, add speed and direct it towards heavy traffic. Smash through busy intersections, pile into convoys of trucks and bounce around the highways like a fiery pinball. The bigger pile-up you cause, the more points you earn. Get a high enough score and you unlock the next level.
If you’ve played the Burnout games, Danger Zone is much like their Crash Mode. The main evolution comes from the ‘Smashbreaker’ mechanic. Once you’ve caused a set number of crashes, you can manually detonate your car, causing additional damage and propelling you through the air.
While airborne, you can nudge your car in different directions, aiming it towards other clusters of traffic, or to pick up powerups, such as points bonuses or additional Smashbreakers.
To top the leaderboards, you must chain Smashbreakers together while timing them to deal the most damage in tandem with the flow of traffic, introducing a tactical layer that rewards planning. However, reacting on the fly is equally important, as the slightest mistimed explosion or nudge by a bus will radically alter how the crash plays out.
With 20 stages and plentiful replay value, Danger Zone has a lot to offer for £9.99. It looks fantastic too, with viscous explosions and gorgeous particle effects. That said, the game is pitched as a VR crash-test simulation in a virtual underground bunker, which is frankly a drab setting. It’s likely down to budget constraints, but it would add considerably to the game if these tests’ environments were more varied.
An even bigger omission is a replay mode to record and play back your crashes from different angles; being able to upload and share your crashes would add a whole new dimension. Otherwise, though, Danger Zone is a joyous playground of vehicular destruction. Now if you’ll excuse us, VROOOM!