rally-master-pro-splashscreen-iphoneFish Labs' long awaited rally racer that we first heard of back in August has finally arrived on the App Store. Originally a J2ME game released in 2008 that received rave reviews from mobile gaming sites, Rally Master Pro 3D [App Store] for the iPhone is completely remastered with four times the polygon count of the original with all kinds of additional visual effects.

The extra once-over Fish Labs gave Rally Master Pro 3D is amazingly apparent from your first launch of the game. It looks absolutely gorgeous and can easily stand next to the other graphical marvels of the App Store. Your car is one of the best looking car models I've seen on the platform, the weather effects look excellent, the draw distance is far, and pop-in of scenery is minimal. From a technical standpoint, Rally Master Pro 3D is phenomenal.

IMG_0966

The game is controlled similar to other racing games. Your steer your car either by tilting your phone, using an analog wheel, or digital buttons to turn right or left. Acceleration can either be handled automatically or via a button, and there is a button for braking. I've found myself preferring the buttons to steer right and left, which seems a little odd as tilt controls have worked so well with other games. Both tilting and using the analog wheel somehow feel significantly less precise than using the digital controls.

When you're doing well, racing through the countryside in Rally Master Pro 3D feels great. As a rally game, you are competing against the clock rather than other racers, and like other rally games, turns are called out and the tracks are mostly easy to navigate with plenty of turns and jumps. Where things start to go pear shaped is when your tires slip off the road, which is where the car damage system comes in.

IMG_0962If you don't maintain a perfect racing line, your car slows significantly whenever you even slightly veer off the road. On top of that, a bar showing your car's current durability is displayed on the top left corner of the screen. In addition to being slowed when you go off road, your car takes constant damage and must be repaired between races.

When I first noticed my car taking damage for sliding off the edge of the track through turns, I suspected that there was going to be some really slick multitouch enabled mini game where you used various gestures to repair your car or some other clever way to play as a member of your pit crew. Instead, you're offered two options-- You can either have the game repair automatically to repair some lost durability, or assist the pit crew by playing timing based mini games to do things like refill your tire pressure or tighten the lug nuts of your wheels to repair much more.

IMG_0959What could have been a neat gameplay mechanic similar to how you hot wire cars in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the DS instead is accomplished by just pressing a virtual button on screen. When you're refilling your tires you hold a button to add or release air in to your tires and must guess the correct duration to get the pressure gauge within the desired range. When tightening lug nuts, you simply tap a button when a series of lines match up inside of a bar similar to how you putt in most golfing games.

What could have been a great opportunity to inject some mini games that suit the unique controls of the iPhone instead just come off as shallow and contrived. The vehicle durability and repair system really seem to be the fly in the ointment of an otherwise phenomenal iPhone game.

At the end of the day, Rally Master Pro 3D is still worth checking out. It's a fun racing game with great graphics. Once you eventually get good enough at the game your car doesn't take very much damage, and you can begin to mostly ignore the durability system. There is a ton to unlock by playing through the three difficulties of career mode, each with a rally course set up over 9 individual legs. Times are tracked locally as well as online, creating a sizable amount of replay value if you enjoy competing in online leaderboards.

App Store Link: Rally Master Pro 3D, $6.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Mihir

    Wow...the video looks great!!

  • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

    I'm a graphics junkie so I'll check this out. And Dirt 2 is one of my favorite games so I'm buying this!

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      Whoa and it's only 31.7mb!!!

  • Mihir

    Wow...the video looks great!!

  • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

    I'm a graphics junkie so I'll check this out. And Dirt 2 is one of my favorite games so I'm buying this!

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      Whoa and it's only 31.7mb!!!

  • http://uvision.pl kleskus

    Lol...
    This game has got poor graphics... Thats my opinion. Games like Real Racing, 2XL ATV or NFSU are much better, and not only graphicaly, gameplay and sounds here, at Rally Master sucks.

    • SalsaMD

      Huh? Speechless.

      Gameplay is arguable, particularly if you don't like rally races. Graphics wise, perhaps you should hold your tongue unless you actually have the game in hand.

    • Constable Odo

      Could you explain how the graphics are BAD, specifically speaking? Just so I understand what I'd be looking for when it comes to good graphics. My eyes aren' great, but stuff looks fairly detailed, so it must be something else.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      They look about on par with NFSU to me, except this game has more outdoorsy and brightly lit areas which always help expose graphic flaws.

  • http://uvision.pl kleskus

    Lol...
    This game has got poor graphics... Thats my opinion. Games like Real Racing, 2XL ATV or NFSU are much better, and not only graphicaly, gameplay and sounds here, at Rally Master sucks.

    • SalsaMD

      Huh? Speechless.

      Gameplay is arguable, particularly if you don't like rally races. Graphics wise, perhaps you should hold your tongue unless you actually have the game in hand.

    • Constable Odo

      Could you explain how the graphics are BAD, specifically speaking? Just so I understand what I'd be looking for when it comes to good graphics. My eyes aren' great, but stuff looks fairly detailed, so it must be something else.

    • http://www.monicadickey.com Monica Dickey

      They look about on par with NFSU to me, except this game has more outdoorsy and brightly lit areas which always help expose graphic flaws.

  • Ballpeen

    "poor graphics"? There's one in every crowd..

    Same are most likely to complain if the price of an app is over 99 cents.

  • Ballpeen

    "poor graphics"? There's one in every crowd..

    Same are most likely to complain if the price of an app is over 99 cents.

  • hishammatar

    Not available on the italian store. Bummer

  • hishammatar

    Not available on the italian store. Bummer

  • http://www.nothowitlooks.com Brett Archibald

    You might want to publish the non-US link as well:

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=335971400&mt=8

    Well, that's the link for the UK version of the game at least, I don't know about the other non-US stores...

    • Tim

      Thanks, that works in the Netherlands as well

  • http://www.nothowitlooks.com Brett Archibald

    You might want to publish the non-US link as well:

    http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=335971400&mt=8

    Well, that's the link for the UK version of the game at least, I don't know about the other non-US stores...

    • Tim

      Thanks, that works in the Netherlands as well

  • Sticktron

    I had the same reaction to the tilt controls, and switched to the digi buttons. What a shame, the whole challenge with driving games is the precise steering needed, and the tilt control offers that precision, just not in this game.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Not to contradict those who have preferred the touch controls (hey, it's your preference), but tilt controls are working beautifully for me, at least in the first rally.

  • Sticktron

    I had the same reaction to the tilt controls, and switched to the digi buttons. What a shame, the whole challenge with driving games is the precise steering needed, and the tilt control offers that precision, just not in this game.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Not to contradict those who have preferred the touch controls (hey, it's your preference), but tilt controls are working beautifully for me, at least in the first rally.

  • dumas1000

    It's alright. It's not great though. I certainly believe Shift will be better. Taking damaging without ever hitting anything is pretty dumb. This game was Taylor made for the UK AppStore. Remember, it's Rally only (meaning time trial based) there are no opponents to race. Rally racing has no real following in the U.S. There's also no car selection/customization.

  • dumas1000

    It's alright. It's not great though. I certainly believe Shift will be better. Taking damaging without ever hitting anything is pretty dumb. This game was Taylor made for the UK AppStore. Remember, it's Rally only (meaning time trial based) there are no opponents to race. Rally racing has no real following in the U.S. There's also no car selection/customization.

  • jacques

    why?
    isnt one awseome rally racer on the appstore good enough?
    i would have thought real racer would beat any competition!

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      "isnt one awseome rally racer on the appstore good enough?"

      Of course not.

  • jacques

    why?
    isnt one awseome rally racer on the appstore good enough?
    i would have thought real racer would beat any competition!

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      "isnt one awseome rally racer on the appstore good enough?"

      Of course not.

  • Spellcheck

    In the AppStore not on

    I really don't see how you write these great reviews & keep saying games are "on the AppStore"

    it really just sounds bad Eli.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      How about you PM him and let him know privately, instead of embarrassing him in public? Do you really have to be such a jerk about it?

      • Eli Hodapp

        It's not embarrassing, RedStaR has posted this on nearly everything I've written for weeks now. ;)

    • Yupik

      When I click on link then my iTunes says that this is not available in Polish AppStore, but when I manually typed name in search box in iTunes then it was found. I think that something is wrong with the provided link - try search AppStore manually and you (probably ;) ) will find it.

    • http://www.nothowitlooks.com Brett Archibald

      Well, if you think of the App Store as a glorified e-commerce website, then you would say "on", not "in"...

  • Spellcheck

    In the AppStore not on

    I really don't see how you write these great reviews & keep saying games are "on the AppStore"

    it really just sounds bad Eli.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      How about you PM him and let him know privately, instead of embarrassing him in public? Do you really have to be such a jerk about it?

      • Eli Hodapp

        It's not embarrassing, RedStaR has posted this on nearly everything I've written for weeks now. ;)

    • Yupik

      When I click on link then my iTunes says that this is not available in Polish AppStore, but when I manually typed name in search box in iTunes then it was found. I think that something is wrong with the provided link - try search AppStore manually and you (probably ;) ) will find it.

    • http://www.nothowitlooks.com Brett Archibald

      Well, if you think of the App Store as a glorified e-commerce website, then you would say "on", not "in"...

  • http://greatfamily.cz Alcado

    If you didn't know, this has the better graphics an iPhone 3G can support... and if cause damage by driving over rocks is not realistic then i don't know where do you live... it's rally ladies, not kid stuff like tunning cars... show if you really know how to drift

  • http://greatfamily.cz Alcado

    If you didn't know, this has the better graphics an iPhone 3G can support... and if cause damage by driving over rocks is not realistic then i don't know where do you live... it's rally ladies, not kid stuff like tunning cars... show if you really know how to drift

  • makkey

    Just tried to purchase this from Japanese AppStore, but iTunes says the item is not currently available, as it is being updated right now. What's happening? Anyone else see the same message?

    • makkey

      Ah, it seems they just fixed the price. It's available now. It was 900 Yen, now it's 800 Yen!

  • makkey

    Just tried to purchase this from Japanese AppStore, but iTunes says the item is not currently available, as it is being updated right now. What's happening? Anyone else see the same message?

    • makkey

      Ah, it seems they just fixed the price. It's available now. It was 900 Yen, now it's 800 Yen!

  • Dark NRG

    @Dumas1000 read your review on app store. Thanks, I think I'll wait....

  • Dark NRG

    @Dumas1000 read your review on app store. Thanks, I think I'll wait....

  • dk206

    I told you guys
    fishlabs always ALWAYS delivers the uttermost BEST perfomance graphics-wise to ANY console that they work with.
    They strecth the device to the max

    Well done Fishlabs.
    Me buying -like right now

  • dk206

    I told you guys
    fishlabs always ALWAYS delivers the uttermost BEST perfomance graphics-wise to ANY console that they work with.
    They strecth the device to the max

    Well done Fishlabs.
    Me buying -like right now

  • agemon

    The link was broken in the french store, but the fast research work fine on itune ^_^

  • agemon

    The link was broken in the french store, but the fast research work fine on itune ^_^

  • http://www.AlliPhoneAppsReview.com AlliPhoneAppsReview

    After reading the review here I bought the game and played. Really it's awesome as described in the review. I like the graphics sound effects. Also I liked to steer the wheel by tilting the phone rather than analog wheel or digital buttons.

  • http://www.AlliPhoneAppsReview.com AlliPhoneAppsReview

    After reading the review here I bought the game and played. Really it's awesome as described in the review. I like the graphics sound effects. Also I liked to steer the wheel by tilting the phone rather than analog wheel or digital buttons.

  • Ryan

    Look's worth buying but I have one question: Is there an in-car view? Or is it all above and behind the car?

    • TKO

      There is an 'in car' view mode (I prefer it) ..but it's not one where you see the steering-wheel, dashboard and front pillar. Maybe bumper-cam is more accurate.

  • Ryan

    Look's worth buying but I have one question: Is there an in-car view? Or is it all above and behind the car?

    • TKO

      There is an 'in car' view mode (I prefer it) ..but it's not one where you see the steering-wheel, dashboard and front pillar. Maybe bumper-cam is more accurate.

  • Alshain

    How are the physics? I mean, I'm not expecting Richard Burns Rally/Rally Trophy quality, but are they at least up to, say, the original PSX Colin McRae? Do you actually need to use opposite lock to drift? Can you do a Scandinavian flick?

  • Alshain

    How are the physics? I mean, I'm not expecting Richard Burns Rally/Rally Trophy quality, but are they at least up to, say, the original PSX Colin McRae? Do you actually need to use opposite lock to drift? Can you do a Scandinavian flick?

  • steven

    nice graphics, quite tough gameplay though, theres two viewpoints behind the car and a bonnet view the second of which is easier to use.
    not bad but real racing is better

  • steven

    nice graphics, quite tough gameplay though, theres two viewpoints behind the car and a bonnet view the second of which is easier to use.
    not bad but real racing is better

  • TKO

    @Alshain It's definitely not Colin McRae on the PSX. (I still have that ..together with the PC version, and the feel of the car was outstanding.) This one has a much softer/heavier feel to it. In fact, though Real Racing isn't a proper comparison, being a racing game, rather than a rally game, I get more of the joy of Colin McRae in Real Racing than I do in this game. *sigh*

    I'm not good enough at it yet to be able to tell if the Scandinavian flick works.. but I think it's not going to be so much a flick ..a little more a slow swish. :)

  • TKO

    @Alshain It's definitely not Colin McRae on the PSX. (I still have that ..together with the PC version, and the feel of the car was outstanding.) This one has a much softer/heavier feel to it. In fact, though Real Racing isn't a proper comparison, being a racing game, rather than a rally game, I get more of the joy of Colin McRae in Real Racing than I do in this game. *sigh*

    I'm not good enough at it yet to be able to tell if the Scandinavian flick works.. but I think it's not going to be so much a flick ..a little more a slow swish. :)

  • Alshain

    Hmm, thanks TKO, I guess I'll stick to Real Racing for now. Yeah, I have great memories of the original CMR, haha! One would think the iPhone can surely outdo the PSX in terms of hardware, but I suppose having to use opposite lock would be tricky for an accelerometer game, with both the lag and the disorienting effect.

  • Alshain

    Hmm, thanks TKO, I guess I'll stick to Real Racing for now. Yeah, I have great memories of the original CMR, haha! One would think the iPhone can surely outdo the PSX in terms of hardware, but I suppose having to use opposite lock would be tricky for an accelerometer game, with both the lag and the disorienting effect.

  • Rustyjaw

    FIrst, a disclaimer, I LOVE rally games. I think the peak of my rally experience was CMR3 on the PS2.

    I love rally games so much, I even played through CMR on the Gameboy Advance. :-)

    Anyway, when I first started playing Rallymaster on my iPhone, I was a little disappointed that none of the control methods felt comfortable. I first tried tilt, then steering wheel and then buttons. I went back to steering wheel for a while but found it way too hard to keep from lifting my finger to 'reset' the wheel position. Then I decided to give tilt another go, and after a few more rounds, I found that I was starting to have fun, instead of worrying about how to keep the car going.

    What I love about good rally games is the sense that losing control is always a split-second away, and that to do well you have to be able to drive right on that edge. The tilt-steering is where I found that thrill to be, it allows for subtle corrections, and for crazy slam-on-the-brakes-to-induce-the-perfect-slide hair-pin survival.

    This is not a CMR game, but it is pretty well done, and so far it is rewarding the time I've spent getting used to the controls with some very nail-biting racing experiences.

  • Rustyjaw

    FIrst, a disclaimer, I LOVE rally games. I think the peak of my rally experience was CMR3 on the PS2.

    I love rally games so much, I even played through CMR on the Gameboy Advance. :-)

    Anyway, when I first started playing Rallymaster on my iPhone, I was a little disappointed that none of the control methods felt comfortable. I first tried tilt, then steering wheel and then buttons. I went back to steering wheel for a while but found it way too hard to keep from lifting my finger to 'reset' the wheel position. Then I decided to give tilt another go, and after a few more rounds, I found that I was starting to have fun, instead of worrying about how to keep the car going.

    What I love about good rally games is the sense that losing control is always a split-second away, and that to do well you have to be able to drive right on that edge. The tilt-steering is where I found that thrill to be, it allows for subtle corrections, and for crazy slam-on-the-brakes-to-induce-the-perfect-slide hair-pin survival.

    This is not a CMR game, but it is pretty well done, and so far it is rewarding the time I've spent getting used to the controls with some very nail-biting racing experiences.

  • Alshain

    Rustyjaw, did you ever play Richard Burns Rally or Rally Trophy for PC? If not, if you liked CMR3, you'd probably love them--paired with a decent wheel/pedals setup, they're pretty much the gold standard for rally realism. :-)

  • Alshain

    Rustyjaw, did you ever play Richard Burns Rally or Rally Trophy for PC? If not, if you liked CMR3, you'd probably love them--paired with a decent wheel/pedals setup, they're pretty much the gold standard for rally realism. :-)