Hey, another game based on the Machine Gun Jetpack "what if?" article! Let's see your take on it.
For the record, I'm playing version 0.3. From the comments, this game has evolved quite a bit. Had to extract the RAR file (I use Free RAR Extract Frog for that btw; it's a handy program and I recommend if for all your RAR extraction needs. ;] ).
I had some good fun with this. It strays a bit far from the original "what if?" article (a machine gun would definitely not be able to move a car--and you would run out of bullets), but it's still a joy to play. It's really fun to mess with the physics.
I do have a few complaints. First, why aren't the controls in the game? If a player gets some good traction, and then accidentally presses R, they're done without knowing it. Second, while you say there's a set distance the player should aim for, it's never made clear where that goal is. Would love to see a "level select" mode and an "endless" mode after the jam (this game would be awesome with online leaderboards and the ability to record your "rides" in-game, but those are pretty big things to implement). Third, why is just the spacebar the shoot button? Why not have it so the player can use any key on their keyboard (with the exception of Escape and the other keys on the very top row, of course.) to shoot?
If you rapidly press spacebar so the car begins to lift off the ground but doesn't turn over yet, it's basically game over. From there it's a balancing act of trying to move the car forward without tipping it completely. The best way to "beat" this game is the most boring way to play: press the spacebar every few seconds to slowly move the car forward. And even then it gets difficult because every shot tips the car upward more and more and moves you less and less--I don't understand why it happens, but it's so frustrating because I want to actually beat the game (go the distance the title screen is telling me about), but the game itself is fiercely resisting that!
The other best way to play is just hold down the spacebar and watch the car go--I got 104 meters this way and then crashed. But it's just holding down the spacebar, which is, again, kind of boring.
I played this game a good while before I came back to this page and read about the torque controls. These are interesting to experiment with, but (1) really need to be told to the player in the game and (2) eventually also devolve into crafting a set, boring strategy to move forward, and (3) have the same problem as the regular shooting mechanic, turning into a balancing act after a while.
I had some fun with Machine Gun Powered Vehicle, but not as much as I could've, which is a shame. The main problem is that your game contains 2 conflicting ideas at its core: (1) the player should try to make it to the end of the stage without dying, with encourages players to establish a set strategy and not experiment too much, and (2) the player should feel free to experiment with the physics and just have fun with it, which encourages players not to make it to the end of the stage. I'm sure making these core ideas clash wasn't intentional, which is why I'm pointing it out to you. Choose one or the other.