BMW Z4 app tries too hard to dazzle

Aug 30, 2009
Games

The irony of the BMW Z4: An Expression of Joy app is that for something marketing a high-end luxury roadster that goes very fast, the responsiveness of the app is quite slow. That makes gameplay rather frustrating. The carmaker is known for its cutting edge vehicles and ad campaigns, but with this app they’ve pushed […]

The irony of the BMW Z4: An Expression of Joy app is that for something marketing a high-end luxury roadster that goes very fast, the responsiveness of the app is quite slow. That makes gameplay rather frustrating.

The carmaker is known for its cutting edge vehicles and ad campaigns, but with this app they’ve pushed my iPod Touch to the brink, overly taxing its graphics processor with all the 3D rendering.

The core concept of the game involves designing and driving a user-customized Z4 on a large piece of virtual canvas, using the tires as paintbrushes. When you’re finished driving, you see the results of your car’s artistic handiwork. Unfortunately, you can’t save the image to your photo library.

You can choose the color, style and accessorize your BMW Z4 extensively. The app renders a finished image of the vehicle once you’re done customizing.

Then you can race the virtual car in a mode that will remind you of most 3D-style racing games. The handling while racing was quite realistic, even incorporating the sounds of braking and engine throttling.

Under options, you can adjust the car’s handling via the tilt feature of your iPhone, select from five preloaded songs and change the volume level. There is even a “behind the scenes” menu reminiscent of the special features often included on DVDs.

The BMW Z4: An Expression of Joy app would merit 4 stars for its innovative concept but the frequent freezes and lag in navigating from menu to menu was a big letdown.

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Mark Smithivas

Mark Smithivas is an independent wireless and mobile analyst, gadget enthusiast and proud parent of two rugrats. He'd rather text you than call, and is still on the lookout for the perfect drive-thru app.

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