iPhone developer ATOD AB has recently released Fastlane Street Racing [App Store], a Ridge Racer-style racing game that has generated much commentary--most of it rather positive--in the App Store user reviews and our forums since its release.

The first thing that hits you about Fastlane is the game's graphics quality.  Fastlane is the best looking iPhone racer, hands down.  What's more, the game runs at a decent framerate and experiences very few slow-downs.  Of course, you're racing only three other vehicles and the on-road traffic is at a bare minimum, but still--it's a lovely looking game.

So how does it play?  Let's first take a look at the game modes.  Fastlane has three racing modes: Arcade, Time Trial, and Challenge.  Arcade mode involves racing from checkpoint to checkpoint and completing the course before the timer runs out.  Successfully completing courses unlocks new ones--there are 12 in all.  Time Trial mode is a race against pre-recorded times--race against a pace car or against your own best time.  Challenge mode presents the racer with various goals to achieve in order to move to the next course: complete the route within the time limit without touching the walls more than twice, overtake the other car before it passes the finish line, etc.  While there has been some outcry due to Fastlane's lack of a "career mode," I personally am pleased by its absence.  The time constraints surrounding typical gameplay on a mobile device (vs. a home console or desktop) make full blown career modes (winning money in races to buy upgrades, garages, homes, etc.) impractical.

And controls?  Well, there are many opinions on this in our forums.  Some call the game too difficult, indicating that the accelerometer controls are unforgiving and serious corners are impossible to negotiate.  Here's the thing about this game, though: mastering the technique of drifting is a prerequisite.  Each of the game's 10 vehicles feature different driving characteristics and finding the perfect drifter for your particular driving style is critical.  If you can't master drifting, then this game is not for you.  That may seem like a tall order or a particular negative, but the thing is, Fastlane's drifting feels much more "realistic" than does the seemingly on-rails drifting exhibited in the latest console versions of Ridge Racer.  So, take the time to learn to drift and the game's controls are in the palm of your hand.  Have a look at ATOD AB's tips page for some technique suggestions.

Fastlane includes a gameplay musical score along with well done sound effects.  If a song is playing from the iPhone's song library at game launch, Fastlane's sound effects will overlay it.  Hats off for that, ATOD AB.

All said, Fastlane Street Racing is the best iPhone racer in terms of graphics, racing challenge, and overall gameplay.  More and more, iPhone App Store releases are resembling high-end Nintendo DS and Sony PSP hits.  Fastlane Street Racing is a fine example.  Racing fans willing to tackle the learning curve will find this $5.99 title well worth the price.

Game Details
Name: Fastlane Street Racing (v1.0) Price: $5.99 [Buy]
Developer: ATOD AB Size: 22.3 MB
Fastlane Street Racing is presently the best looking, best playing racing game in the App Store.  This Ridge Racer-style game relies heavily upon drifting, however.  Learning the controls takes time and patience, but there is a reward to be found for those who stick with it.

TouchArcade Rating

  • NotYou

    I totally agree. Personally, I think this one of the absolute best games in the App Store right now. If you don't want a challenge, or you don't want to mess with drifting, then you're going to hate it. Otherwise, this game is a blast.

  • CrocStock

    Very good review, look forward to buying this when I can :3

  • Chase

    I think I'm going to wait until NFS comes out to see which I'd buy of the two... I would buy this, but I already have a couple of racers on my phone, so I don't need too many others.

    I just purchased Quick Draw last night for the same price last night and don't regret it.

  • SalsaMD

    Forum link:

    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?p=13435#post13435

    This is a different type of racer than NFS, the latter being in the genre of Asphalt.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    A note about the video. I learned the controls of this game much better than the video would indicate. It is simply extremely difficult to play well while embracing a tripod and trying to keep the wildly tilting iPhone in center field.

    One day I'll find a better way...

  • Chase

    Oh, and this game looks really amazing. I can't wait to see what some devs can do to meet or beat this kind of graphical level on iPhone; especially iD Software who says they're coming out with a game that's a "graphical tour de force".

    It only gets better from here. And the way it's looking in the games section lately, it's less crap and more great games.

  • Chase

    @blakespot: Why not at least setting the tripod and playing opposite the tripod across a table, and then rotating the video 180° with a program? (for Mac there's TransformMovie)
    That could help a little.

    @SalsaMD: Hmmmm... Well, maybe I'll buy it then...

  • Barry Ward (aka wastedyuthe)

    Nice review Blakespot. How far have you got in the game?
    I am surprised you didn't mention how difficult it is to keep up with the opponent cars- don't you find that a little frustrating?
    Like I said in my review, I find it too unforgiving when it comes to keeping up with them. However reaching the finish before the timer runs out is a fairer challenge.
    It is a good game, but some will have issues with its difficulty.
    Btw, you steer using the same method as me- tilting towards you rather than up and down.

  • http://hgrenade.com se7en

    Great review. I am an avid gamer and am usually excellent at driving games - they are always my favorites. From a game design standpoint, the learning curve is very unforgiving and makes you want to throw your phone. Either alternate controls, like touchscreen, in Asphalt should be added or a small track with tutorial should be added to teach players how to drift.

    The frame rate drops are also unforgivable and will make you eat wall on a fairly regular basis. I personally find the graphics lack what I'm going to call "course contrast" so it is hard to see where the road is going in visually busy areas.

    The hard corners are almost impossible and there is no visual indication that you approaching a 90 degree turn. A small course graphic could be useful as well as definite signage.

    The only other problem is that collision sound effects all combine regularly and create distortion to the point that it sounds like 2 cats in a bag fighting for their lives. Seriously annoying.

    This game stands out to me because when you can get it working it's very fast and a lot of fun. The graphics are amazing for a mobile and the UI looks slick. Clean and simple. Definitely worth $5 but know going in that you will hate this game at times.

  • http://www.fastlanestreetracing.com hypsup

    Thanks for the great review! We've gone ahead and posted it on our website!

  • Steve

    wait till NFS comes out then get the better of the two, or get both whatever

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  • CrocStock

    SCREW EA!! XD

  • hkiphone

    One thing that would help greatly is a map overlay, so you can see upcoming corners ahead of time. That might help us judge where to line up the car. Some corners do not require drifts.

  • Jack

    Wow, looks great, hard to learn. I've been loving my first few races, even if I suck. Just need time to learn (I doubt NFS will be any good). Well, time to delete a couple other racers from my phone.

  • Oliver

    Well, they show BIG arrows LONG before the corner ;)

  • Barry Ward (aka wastedyuthe)

    To be fair to the game I think they got it right with their being no overlay showing what corner is coming up. As Oliver says, there are arrows at the side of the road to start with. Then it's just a case of replaying the route a good few times to learn it- remembering where the tighter bends are. The more overlays this will get, the more that will take away from this games stylish and simplistic look it has now.

  • Oliver

    I think that the foresight is really great. You can see the corners coming and you have the arrows. I really like it.

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    I just spent 45 mins on Gran Turismo 4 on the PS2 hooked to a widescreen 50" plasma. There's a driving game.

  • Barry Ward (aka wastedyuthe)

    @ Blakespot:
    I'll ask again, are you happy with the opponents unforgiving speed?
    Also, you say a career mode is impractical- yet Asphalt4 showed (regardless of it's control faults) that you can have 3-4 minute races, win money, upgrade etc very easily in this regard. You can always win a races winnings and upgrade next time you play. So if these developers didn't want a career mode, that's fine. But using the mobile platform as an excuse isn't imo.

  • http://iPhone3g-India.com/ iPhone 3G Blog

    On sharp turns you have to turn the iphone so much, tat you wont be able to see the phone.

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  • Paul

    The sensation of speed is incredible in the in-car mode view. this is the best game in the app store no question. And how great ITS so tough but you can get round without drifting by just modulating Throttle and listening to the engine freewheel... Wow! To drift, do exactly what you do in a normal car! Great tracks, I won't buy another game for a long time!!! & for first time ever I'm prefer iPhone gaming to my Pc .

  • Paul

    Ps. Turn up tilt sensitivity to near max to reduce tilt required to turn corners if you r having issues visibly in game whilst steering!!

  • http://sworegon.org Steven Means

    Fastlane Street Racer crashes on boot up ... only app of 50 I have that does this ... how do I get my money back???

  • http://ipodtouch rolando

    hola

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  • Keith Hurlburt

    I down loaded this game for my son's itouch and most of the courses are locked. How do I unlock most of the games?

  • arn

    @keith - you have to do well enough on the maps you can play, that unlocks the next map.

  • rich_952000

    @keith, this is a tough game. Even on easy mode, some tracks I have had to race 5-10 times to unlock the next track. There are also challenges to unlock more cars, colors etc.. I would say this is one of the most challenging, yet most rewarding games on the appstore. Frustrating and fun!

    Depending how old your son is, this maynot be the best racer for him.

  • Greg Richardson

    Fantastic...
    Just in case any of you didn't know, this game was originally being made for the Gizmondo (yes, unless you are a massive nerd you don't know what that is) but it was to be released very soon after the console went bust, but the commercial version was leaked onto the internet and I have beaten it, so to find that I payed full price for a game I had already completed was irritating but since they fixed all the glitches I'd say that it was well worth it.
    A must buy.

    Greg

  • Greg Richardson

    just adding to my last comment the game was called Chicane.

  • Michael

    How do you unlock colors for the cars?

  • Bryan mackinnon

    FYI, I'm running Iphone OS 3.0 beta 5. The icon for the paid version appears all black on the main menu. On the lite version it seems fine.

  • Bryan mackinnon

    As a follow up I think the icon issue is an os beta 5 problem. It cleared up after a reboot.

  • http://ivdopia.com Mandeep

    Hi:

    We would like to explore the advertisement/branding/sponsorship opportunity on your iphone application.

    For one of our clients, the branding campaign is scheduled to go live in September/October - 2009.

    Please share your sales head contact details.

    We would like to discuss the opportunity over a concall.

    Thanks and regards, Mandeep Singh
    http:ivdopia.com

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  • RONALD OXENHANDLER

    The fastlane app disappeared from my iphone. Please help.
    Order Number: MGJFYS4D9J
    Receipt Date: 04/06/09
    Order Total: $3.25
    Billed To: American Express .... 2007

    Item Number Description Unit Price

    1 Fastlane Street Racing, v1.3, Seller: Atod AB (4+)
    Write a Review Report a Problem $1.99

  • ferb12321

    This game is the closest you can get to SEGA's Sega Super GT on the iphone (known as S.C.U.D. Race in other countries)