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2012 The End Escape review: Race to escape an apocalyptic invasion

2012 The End Escape is an excellent time waster with plenty to keep you involved as you escape the alien apocalypse. If you can ignore the terrible sound effects and don't mind doing several runs, this game can be a lot of fun with plenty of vehicles to unlock and cool things to discover.

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Jason Parker
Jason_Parker.jpg

Jason Parker

Senior Editor / Reviews - Software

Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.

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4 min read

2012 The End Escape is a fun distance racer where you're trying to escape an apocalyptic alien invasion in one of several unlockable vehicles. There's a lot to like about this game, but only if you ignore a few glaring problems.

2012 The End Escape (iOS)
7.2

2012 The End Escape

The Good

<b>2012 The End Escape</b> offers fun tilt-controlled survival racing with tons of cool unlocks that keep you playing to earn more coins. The detailed cars and explosion effects are great to look at while you play.

The Bad

Bad sound effects make you want to turn the sound off. Coins take a lot of races to earn in order to buy the game's many vehicles.

The Bottom Line

2012 The End Escape is an excellent time waster with plenty to keep you involved as you escape the alien apocalypse. If you can ignore the terrible sound effects and don't mind doing several runs, this game can be a lot of fun with plenty of vehicles to unlock and cool things to discover.

The game's graphics have a cartoon-style quality that make the game seem like you're looking at a live-action comic book. Great looking explosions well-detailed vehicles, and speed blur effects make 2012 The End Escape a great looking game. But the other half of the gaming experience is sorely lacking. Audio for your car's engine, the exploding meteors, and every other sound in the game are simply awful. I started off playing the game with the volume off and was amazed at the visuals, but when I later turned it on, I couldn't believe that a game developer would take so much time to make an apocalyptic racer look so good, but let it sound so bad. While it's still very enjoyable to play the game with the sound off, it's too bad the developers didn't give people a more rounded gaming experience.

Using a tilt-to-steer control scheme, the main objective in the game is to drive as long as possible while avoiding danger. The apocalyptic theme shows in the broken-down highway you're driving on, sizable craters on both sides of the highway, and a somewhat continuous barrage of falling meteors. The falling meteors will damage your car, as will running into larger trucks on the highway, barricades you'll occasionally come across, and rear-ending other vehicles. There is also the occasional UFO that will zap you with a death ray if you don't accelerate out of the way. You get a limited amount of health with each run, but with so many ways to damage your car, you'll quickly realize that in order to last longer, you're going to need some help.

Race for your life (pictures)

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In 2012 The End Escape there are a number of power-ups you'll find both on the highway and the in-game store to give you an advantage. If you sideswipe smaller vehicles, you take no damage and you "rob" them of a few silver coins before they crash into the side of the highway. A truck with a gas can in the truck bed can be sideswiped for temporary invulnerability and an extreme boost of speed for a short time. A truck that leaks coins is a Cash truck, and sideswiping it will give you a much larger number of coins than hitting a car. There's also a truck with a magnet in the back that will make your car automatically pull coins from other cars for a short time without the need to crash into them. Staying on the lookout for each kind of special vehicle keeps your run interesting, but you'll need more help if you want to go for the greatest distances.

There are nine different cars you can race with that can be purchased with silver coins in the store, and each has different special abilities and upgrades specific to the car. Your starting vehicle is a muscle car, and when you touch the screen you get a speed boost. It also lets you buy upgrades between runs to increase loot and add health to the vehicle for longer runs. But other vehicles let you drive on two wheels to avoid difficult situations, jump high into the air over rough spots, and even fly for a short period of time. Each of these vehicles has its own set of upgrades you buy with gold coins to increase the capabilities of the special skill. In other words, you're going to need to do several runs to earn the both silver and gold coins for cars and upgrades.

Coins are gathered on the road through sideswipes and the cash trucks mentioned above, and there are also achievements that will give you extra loot as you play. Of course, like many "freemium" games, you have the option to buy coins for real money, and it might be worth it for some people in this case to get early access to other vehicles. I decided against spending extra cash, but it definitely took me a lot of runs to earn enough money in my pursuit of the flying alien vehicle. Unlocking them all will take a very long time, but this game is the type of time-waster that's easy to pick up and play, so if you have some patience, it will eventually pay off.

If you can ignore the terrible sound effects and don't mind doing several runs, this game can be a lot of fun with plenty to unlock and cool things to discover.

2012 The End Escape (iOS)
7.2

2012 The End Escape

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 5Interface 8Performance 8
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