low grav racer 2

Just over a year ago I reviewed CobraMobile's futuristic racing game Low Grav Racer [App Store]. Way back when, it was a visually impressive game and indeed the closest thing to Wipeout in the App Store. (And the degree to which any given low gravity, futuristic  racer approximates Wipeout, the king of futuristic racers, is really the critical metric in determining the game's worth, so high did Psygnosis set the bar of that genre, as every gamer other than die-hard F-Zero devotees are aware.) Though an enjoyable game and, as I indicated, Wipeout-like, Low Grav Racer was, in fact, no Wipeout. Surely driven by the urge to close the gap, CobraMobile has just released Low Grav Racer 2 [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch. So how does it fare?

low grav racer 2 screen 1Low Grav Racer 2 puts you in control of any of six futuristic racing craft (three of which must be unlocked) in a race to the finish line across 18 different planet and space system-based tracks. There are two race modes: Single Play and Time Trial. The former is a competition to complete each track in first place against five AI competitors, while the latter is a solo challenge to get from start to finish in the least time possible. As in Wipeout, leading the pack involves more than just speed and savvy handling; it involves weaponry. Scattered about each track are power-ups that enable shields, mines, missiles of several types, speed boosts, and various other items of destruction that help to slow down the competition -- and, likewise, help the competition put a little slow on you.

So far the description of LGR2 sounds a lot like that of the original Low Grav Racer. LGR2 does bring a number of enhancements that improve the overall gameplay as compared to the original. The most notable difference is the significantly enhanced draw distance. The original title used a heavy fog effect to mask pop-in, while LGR2 more fully renders distant track elements and the floating, futuristic items of scenery, lending a rather more realistic feel to the overall situation. As well, LGR2 delivers a more intense feel to the race thanks to apparently faster action and tighter track design. Both versions feature very smooth animation with a solid framerate, but there's more going on in this latest release. As well, Plus+ network integration, tracking awards and leaderboards, adds to the game's play incentive.

low grav racer pic 2Like the original, LGR2 features solid accelerometer steering control with a tap to brake and fire weapons. Sadly, like the original, LGR2 lacks left and right airbrakes, an element of Wipeout that allows for superb ship control. I was disappointed to see this feature still not realized in the sequel release. Another criticism I might voice is the overly spacious feel of the tracks. While it is less of an issue in LGR2 as compared to the original, I prefer tighter tracks that demand real control excellence. That's not to say that in this release you don't spend plenty of time scraping along the edge of the tracks thanks to their various twists and turns or slamming into rock formations that protrude into some of the courses, but tighter tracks make for a more breakneck race session. Also, I would prefer that your ship take damage during said collisions, but that is not the case with either LGR release.

The developer's gameplay video illustrates the racing action.

So, is Low Grav Racer 2 a match for Wipeout? Not quite. It gets us closer than the first release, certainly, and is a quality racer that's both challenging and fun. Those who enjoyed the first outing will likely find LGR2 to be worth the price of admission, and those new to the series who like what they're hearing should bypass the original and go straight for this sequel. As more a fan of futuristic racers than the rubber and asphalt variety, I consider Low Grav Racer 2 to be one of the stronger racing games in the App Store.

App Store Link: Low Grav Racer 2, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Fletch

    I'm still waitin' for Protoxide Racing... :(

    Now that looked like an impressive futuristic racer...

  • MrMuesli

    I absolutely concur that left/right airbrakes was a crucial element in Wipeout (PSP) and something I sorely missed in LGR. This is one of those games that really needs a Lite version, as it would take only a few seconds of play to know how this game handles. Very difficult to get a feel for it at all really from the video.

  • momo

    the old low grav racer was somelike a legend and on the first advertising videos for the Iphone but the control was realy horrible and makes it in my opinion useless... the new one looks realy good :) but the main point with games like these is the control and there for we have to wait for the release ;) :)

  • Fletch

    I'm still waitin' for Protoxide Racing... :(

    Now that looked like an impressive futuristic racer...

  • MrMuesli

    I absolutely concur that left/right airbrakes was a crucial element in Wipeout (PSP) and something I sorely missed in LGR. This is one of those games that really needs a Lite version, as it would take only a few seconds of play to know how this game handles. Very difficult to get a feel for it at all really from the video.

  • momo

    the old low grav racer was somelike a legend and on the first advertising videos for the Iphone but the control was realy horrible and makes it in my opinion useless... the new one looks realy good :) but the main point with games like these is the control and there for we have to wait for the release ;) :)

  • tsharpfilm

    Nice graphics! I'm definitely going to check this one out.

  • tsharpfilm

    Nice graphics! I'm definitely going to check this one out.

  • http://www.jindofox.com Jindo Fox

    For three bucks, this is close enough to Wipeout to make me happy, especially with the Plus+ integration. The difficulty curve isn't nearly as steep as Wipeout, and I've never felt the same white-knuckle tension as in the old Wipeout XL tournaments, but this is fast, pretty, and fun.

  • http://www.jindofox.com Jindo Fox

    For three bucks, this is close enough to Wipeout to make me happy, especially with the Plus+ integration. The difficulty curve isn't nearly as steep as Wipeout, and I've never felt the same white-knuckle tension as in the old Wipeout XL tournaments, but this is fast, pretty, and fun.

  • Greg

    Control is better than the first version and the game is definitely more fun. I have completed all 18 tracks in Alpha class and there are three more classes to go. Best of all, I feel I want to play this game whereas the first one was not as fun.

  • Greg

    Control is better than the first version and the game is definitely more fun. I have completed all 18 tracks in Alpha class and there are three more classes to go. Best of all, I feel I want to play this game whereas the first one was not as fun.

  • oliath

    Hmm.
    Bought the first one and it didn't last more than a few days on my iphone before i forgot about it and eventually deleted it.
    It was pretty dull.

    How does this one rectify that?

  • oliath

    Hmm.
    Bought the first one and it didn't last more than a few days on my iphone before i forgot about it and eventually deleted it.
    It was pretty dull.

    How does this one rectify that?

  • Thomas

    Is it playable on a 2nd gen itouch? I like wipeout, LGR 1 was a good game, but I don't know if I'm going to buy it. I need a lite version.

  • Thomas

    Is it playable on a 2nd gen itouch? I like wipeout, LGR 1 was a good game, but I don't know if I'm going to buy it. I need a lite version.

  • http://www.chillingo.com Chillingo

    Dont' forget to check out the new wipeout killer - SPEED FORGE EXTREME - available now - see what people are saying on the TA forum - http://tinyurl.com/ybczjmv

  • http://www.chillingo.com Chillingo

    Dont' forget to check out the new wipeout killer - SPEED FORGE EXTREME - available now - see what people are saying on the TA forum - http://tinyurl.com/ybczjmv

  • http://cobramobileart.blogspot.com/ SgtStryker

    LGR2 Lite, Low Grav Racer 2's Lite version is available to download now. Try it out!

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/low-grav-racer-2-lite/id345025505?mt=8

  • http://cobramobileart.blogspot.com/ SgtStryker

    LGR2 Lite, Low Grav Racer 2's Lite version is available to download now. Try it out!

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/low-grav-racer-2-lite/id345025505?mt=8

  • http://www.382media.com Bob

    Low Grav 2 rocks, it's one of the most impressive looking games I've played, the sense of speed is awesome. It's not a casual game though, you will have to be focused to win

    I downloaded Speed Forge as well, it's a different type of game to Low Grav, it's more a Pod Racer game than a Wipeout game! the screen shots look nice but the ship is not 3D when you play it, even on a 3G[s]

  • http://www.382media.com Bob

    Low Grav 2 rocks, it's one of the most impressive looking games I've played, the sense of speed is awesome. It's not a casual game though, you will have to be focused to win

    I downloaded Speed Forge as well, it's a different type of game to Low Grav, it's more a Pod Racer game than a Wipeout game! the screen shots look nice but the ship is not 3D when you play it, even on a 3G[s]

  • Lukeb

    LGR2 is a great game. Even if an actual Wipeout game had arrived in the app store 5 minutes after buying LGR2, I'd still have been glad to check out this game too. A few of the races I've had almost touched the feeling of a good session in Wipeout; the AI is quite solid for this type of game.

  • Lukeb

    LGR2 is a great game. Even if an actual Wipeout game had arrived in the app store 5 minutes after buying LGR2, I'd still have been glad to check out this game too. A few of the races I've had almost touched the feeling of a good session in Wipeout; the AI is quite solid for this type of game.