Halloween comes early! Beach Buggy Racing update for Android and iOS now available!

Hey Beach Buggy Blitz / Beach Buggy Racing fans, guess what? McSkelly is back just in time for Halloween which we’re celebrating here in the U.S. (and Canada!). Not only is he sporting a cool new look, but he’s also sporting a new vehicle: a ghoulishly sleek hearse. Be sure to check it out ASAP! Always nice to see a familiar face … er … skull.



McSkelly is back!

10 Million

So today Beach Buggy Blitz passed 10 Million downloads in the Google Play app store.

10 Million!

I come from a console development background.  Back when I worked on console games for the PS2 and Xbox, and Xbox 360, we had a completely different idea of "audience".  

The most successful console game I ever worked on was when I was at Stormfront Studios:  Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.  I believe that game sold something like 4 million copies across all platforms, and that was considered a huge success.  Heck, it WAS a huge success!

Of course LOTR:TT sold for $50/copy or something like that so we're talking about a lot of money.  Beach Buggy Blitz is free, and we depend on lots and lots of people playing the game in the hopes that a few of those people will pay.  And in fact about 1.5% of players do eventually buy something.  So for us, a small company, Beach Buggy Blitz is also a huge success.

But apart from the money, the thing that amazes me is the idea that 10 million people have played our game.  And most of them really liked it!  We know it's not perfect, there are lots of things we'd love to improve or do differently if we had to do it over again.  But still, we poured a lot of our creativity and hard work into that game, and to think that 10 million people have played it and mostly enjoyed it is really staggering, and a little humbling.

I wonder how many total hours of gameplay that is... [Eyes glaze over].

Anyway, to all of you who have played Beach Buggy Blitz, thanks a lot for your support and your engagement, and for the ideas that you have posted on our Facebook page or tweeted or emailed to us.  And thanks even for some of the criticisms which have helped us make the game better. 

The Beach Buggy Blitz story is not over!  There will be more updates and fixes and patches.  And most importantly we have big Beach Buggy plans for later this year.  Hopefully we'll continue to do justice to the parts of the game you like, and add even more stuff for you to enjoy -- I'd hate to have 10 million people angry at me!

Beach Buggy Blitz hits 10M on Android, time to give some stuff away!

10,000,000 is a big number.  Like, if you started counting from one right now and kept going til you hit 10,000,000, I'm pretty sure you would get bored or hungry and give up way before you got there.

As game designers, when we make a new game and release it to the wilds, we're hoping that somebody out there will like it.  If a few thousand people like it, that makes us feel good.  If a million people like it, we're like, "Woah!"  

Well today Beach Buggy Blitz was downloaded for the 10,000,000th time on Google Play.  We don't even know what to think about that, except to say, "Thanks!"

So by way of saying "Thanks!", we're going to give away some stuff!  Specifically, this stuff:

  • Grand Prize (5 Winners)
    Beach Buggy Blitz T Shirt* AND a code for 100K Coins in BBB
  • Awesome Prize (10 Winners)
    Code for 100K Coins in BBB
  • Super Prize (20 Winners)
    Code for 25K Coins in BBB
  • Booster Prize (40 Winners)
    Code for 10K Coins in BBB

Here's how to enter:

  1. If you haven't already, join the Vector Unit Fan Club.  It's easy, and it's awesome.
  2. Leave a comment on this post.  Say whatever you want.  Say something about Beach Buggy Blitz, about your favorite car, your craziest moment.  Say something about one of our other games, or about video games in general.  Just be nice to each other.

Comments must be posted before Wednesday 3/13 at 9am Pacific Time.  After that time we will randomly select the winners from the entrants, and notify them via email.  See below for more rules.

*Please note you must be a resident of the United States or Canada to get the T-Shirt!  

Official Rules:

  1. Competition is open to everyone, but only residents of the United States of Canada will get a T-Shirt.
  2. One entry per person.  Employees or family members of employees of Vector Unit are not permitted to enter.
  3. Competition entries are only accepted via comments left on this post, and must be dated no later than 9am PT on March 13, 2013.  Entries left in the comments section of any other post, or received by any other means, will not be recognized.
  4. Contestants who post vulgar or inflammatory comments will be disqualified.
  5. Winners will be contacted by a Vector Unit staff member via the email they use to create their Vector Unit Fan Club account, and will be expected to respond to that staff member within 24 hours, else their prize may be forfeit and another winner selected.  Vector Unit’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.  Winners agree that their name and details of their entry may be used for promotional purposes by Vector Unit.  
  6. Prizes consist of five Beach Buggy Blitz T-Shirts, 15 Ultra Pack Codes, and 20 Super Pack Codes. There are no other alternatives for prize winners unless these prizes become unavailable, in which case Vector Unit reserves the right to substitute another prize of similar value. Giveaway provided by Vector Unit.
  7. Any questions regarding this giveaway should be directed to 


Beach Buggy Blitz Winter Update

The new winter expansion update for Beach Buggy Blitz is now available for download on the Google Play Store.  This is a major update to the game, a ton of new content and gameplay options!

First and foremost is the new Snowy Mountain environment, which you can discover when you drive into the hard sections of the mountain after about 6km.  (It shows up around the same time as the Volcano stuff.)  The new environment is full of slip-slidey challenges, including patches of ice and snow, squeaky toy penguins, and howling yeti!  (For memory and perofrmance reasons, this content only appears on devices with dual core CPUs or higher.)

In addition, we've added a new 5th upgrade level for all Powerups in the game.  There's a new +2 second upgrade for the Checkpoint, an even faster Boost, and more!

You'll also find the "Tune Up" Gadget in the menu alongside the Drop Ship and the Extra Life.  It gives your car extra performance for the next race, perfect for a run at the leaderboards!

And -- as if all that wasn't enough -- you also get new achievements!

Happy holidays, everyone, hope you enjoy playing the update as much as we've had making it!

A note to iOS users

The Winter Expansion pack IS going to make it to iOS as well.  We need to do some further optimization, and of course as always wait a little while after we submit the udpate for Apple Approval.  We expect it to be available in mid-January 2013.

Beach Buggy Blitz™ debuts at Google I/O Developer Sandbox

San Francisco, CA – June 27, 2012 —Vector Unit, a game developer known for top-selling water racing titles Riptide GP™ and Shine Runner™, debuts its new Android racing game Beach Buggy Blitz in the Developer Sandbox at Google I/O this week.

Beach Buggy Blitz is built around an “infinite drive” mechanic that challenges players to drive as far as possible through lushly detailed, procedurally generated environments -- power-sliding through beaches and volcanoes, flying through the air off massive jumps, and smashing through totally destructible environments. Along the way players can collect coins to unlock and upgrade new vehicles, purchase new costumes, even customize the game itself with new powerups and consumables.

This is the first game to utilize Vector Unit’s retooled Vector Engine 3, which features console-style effects optimized to make the most out of mobile powerhouses like the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core mobile processor.

Beach Buggy Blitz is our most technologically advanced mobile game to date,” says Ralf Knoesel, Technical Director, Vector Unit. “From the start we knew we wanted to take advantage of what the Tegra 3 mobile processor can do, from extra-detailed models and normal-mapped textures to advanced collision and driving physics. The game also features a number of Tegra 3 exclusives, like lens splash effects and dynamic headlights in caves -- stuff we really just can’t do on slower platforms.”

Beach Buggy Blitz will be playable at Google I/O in the developer Sandbox on Thursday, June 28, 2012. The final game is scheduled to ship later in July 2012, and for a limited time will be available exclusively for Tegra-powered Android devices.

Game Features:

  • Action-Packed Off Road Racing. Powerslide through beaches, caves, swamps and volcanoes. Smash through completely destructible environments. Grab air off massive jumps. Punt seagulls and giant crabs and watch them go flying.
  • “Infinite Drive” Environment. The procedurally generated environment means you can drive forever (at least until you wipe out), and it never plays out the same way twice.
  • Tons of Unlockable Content. Earn coins to purchase new cars and costumes, upgrade your vehicle, unlock new powerups, and purchase out of this world consumables like the jaw-dropping Drop Ship.
  • Totally Free to Play. You can unlock every single thing in the game without paying a dime.
  • Optimized for Tegra 3. From the gorgeous models and textures, to the detailed driving and collision physics, to high-end special effects like motion blur, lens splash, and dynamic headlights – Beach Buggy Blitz is optimized to take console-quality gaming mobile with Tegra 3 processor-powered super phones and tablets. The game will be featured in TegraZone™, NVIDIA’s free app that showcases the best games optimized for the Tegra processor.


Storm the Bayou and Smuggle Moonshine

Vector Unit’s Shine Runner™ coming to iOS and Android December 2, 2011

San Rafael, CA – December 1, 2011 — Indie game developer Vector Unit announced today that its latest mobile game, the water racing/action/strategy hybrid Shine Runner, will be released for iOS and Android devices on December 2.

In Shine Runner, players smuggle contraband goods in souped-up flat-bottomed fan boats, powersliding around twisting backwater bayous in a frenetic race to stay one step ahead of the clock – and the law.

Smuggling runs play out in lushly detailed – and fully destructible – 3D river environments. Players crash their way through levels packed with shacks, docks, chicken coops and outhouses, catch huge air off ramps and levies, and dodge (or smash) other river boats, including belligerent police. Between runs, players sell off their smuggled cargo and look for bargains so they can load up on grey market items like Gator Tails, Snake Oil, Tobacky…and of course, bootleg moonshine. The goal of the game is to maximize profits over a 10 day period.

“Our theme for this game is simple,” says Ralf Knoesel, Vector Unit’s Technical Director. “Two words: ’Redneck Chaos.’ Yes, there’s strategy to the trading meta-game, but personally I just love smashing alligators into chicken coops, punting cops off the tops of levies… I’ve been working on Shine Runner for months now and I still laugh when I’m playing.”

Shine Runner will be available Friday, December 2, 2011 for iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets.

Game Features:

  • Amazing Water Physics. Slip and slide through twisting bayous with the most realistic boat physics ever seen on mobile.
  • Completely Destructible Game Environments. Crash through docks stacked high with barrels. Demolish shacks and outhouses. Punt gators and chickens. If you can see it, you can smash it!
  • Smuggle Your Way to Riches! Buy and sell contraband goods like Moonshine and Tobacky, smuggling them from one colorful locale to the next in a race for maximum profit.
  • Gorgeous HD Visuals. Explore a colorful southern world filled with high-detail boats, animated characters, beautiful bayou, marsh, and mountain environments, all running at a silky smooth framerate on your smartphone or tablet – or (on Android) on your HDTV with HDMI out!
  • OpenFeint and Game Center Support. Make your name in the Shine Runner Hall of Fame leaderboards or show off your skills with some of the wackiest, most inventive Achievements around.


GameFanatics is fanatic about Riptide GP


GameFanatics has designated Riptide GP one of their "Top Honeycomb Apps for Android Gamers".

This game is incredible, down to the most minute water droplet, and with great gameplay and easy controls Riptide GP earns nothing but praise from me. You’d expect a game with such great graphics and intricate physics to have a few hiccups but I had nothing but a buttery smooth experience. If you own an Android tablet, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not downloading Riptide GP.

Thanks, GameFanatics!

You can check out the full article with all their recommendations by clicking on this magical hyperlink.

Gamestop shipping Riptide GP on tablets

Video game mega-chain Gamestop has started selling Android tablets in a select group of stores around the country this holiday season.  The tablets come pre-installed with a hand-picked selection of games, and guess who's on the list?

Riptide GP will be preinstalled on thousands of Gamestop tablets and playable in demo stations at over 200 stores around the country (including Powell St in San Francisco).  We're in pretty elite company, too:  the other games in the lineup are Dead Space, Monster Madness, Sonic CD, and Re-Load.  That's a pretty package of gaming goodness right there.

The other thing Gamestop is rolling out that we're pretty excited about is a bluetooth gamepad, for $39.  One of the great things about Android is you can easily connect a gamepad via Bluetooth or USB; prop your tablet up on the table or connect it via HDMI to your TV, and you've got yourself a game console that travels.  The problem's been that decent Bluetooth gamepads are hard to find -- hopefully the Gamestop intiative will change all that, and encourage more developers to add gamepad support to their games!

More info on the Gamestop deal can be found here, in this article on Inquisitir.