racercoaster screenWhenever we preview an iPhone racer with an element of the acrobatic, a number of readers always comment, hoping upon hope that it's the iPhone's answer to Geoff Crammond's seminal 1989 release, Stunt Car Racer. And, although such a game may be an excellent example of iPhone racing, their hopes are always just a bit dashed. Beleaguered retro stunt racing fans, say hello to RacerCoaster [App Store] Heiko Irrgang's stab at delivering Stunt Car Racer to the iPhone.

So, getting right to the point -- is RacerCoaster iPhone gamers' answer to Stunt Car Racer? Well, sort of. It clearly delivers much of the core feel of Crammond's classic to iPhone gamers, but the initial release, at least, is fairly limited by comparison.

racercoaster 2The game is rather basic, putting you in accelerometer-based control of a race car with three different elevated tracks upon which to race to choose from which, unlike those of the typical four-wheel racer, are full of dramatic twists, turns, and jumps. A tap to the bottom-right of the screen accelerates and a tap to the bottom-left brakes. The goal is to cross the finish line as fast as possible (of course) and also to grab as much air as you can on the tracks' various jumps. Adding to the challenge is the extreme sensitivity of your vehicle -- an overzealous nudge will land you on your side. It's a far more sensitive vehicle than that of Stunt Car Racer.

Unfortunately, merely three tracks is rather few. And the best part of Stunt Car Racer -- the gaping sections of missing track that force a jump -- are not represented in RacerCoaster. Hills and twists there are, but no you-must-jump obstacles. Still, RacerCoaster unquestionably delivers a Stunt Car Racer-esque experience on the iPhone. And for that, despite its limitations, it's a notable release. The game's author has spoken out in our forums indicating that, yes, the game was heavily influenced by Stunt Car Racer and has informed us that in several weeks he plans to begin work on adding interactive elements to the game, such as moving bridges and height-modifying jumps. He is also toying with the possibility of adding AI and a league system, similar to that in Stunt Car Racer.

The game offers on-line score tracking tied to the 93-interactive website, but at the time of this write, I was experiencing problems connecting with that system.

See the developer's gameplay video for a look at the action.

At only $.99, RacerCoaster is hard to resist for anyone that spent quality time with Crammond's excellent release. For racer fans in general, it's an interesting departure from the norm, but the sparse track design and retro feel may come across as a lack of polish, and the limited number of levels won't help in the evaluation. I am thankful that the developer has plans to expand the game on a number of fronts and feel that updates in this regard will eliminate any concerns of the game being too basic. We'll be sure to keep readers informed when the updates arrive.

App Store Link: RacerCoaster, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • Cranker

    Any global scores or achievements in here ?

  • Cranker

    Any global scores or achievements in here ?

  • mike

    pretty decent-looking sense of speed actually from what it looks like in the video.. It sort of makes me want someone to build an iphone port of Stunts (4D racing) - provided the controls can be implemented properly.

    • Blades

      Stunts was an awesome game. I played the crap out of it in the 386DX-486SX days. Awwww the memories. In fact a game like STUNTS would be a lot of fun on the iphone. Build your own tracks, loops, jumps, bridges etc... it would be rather cool. In fact if you wanted it to be totally authentic have the program lock up if you take long than 10 mins on one track....lol good ol' DOS days.

      • mike

        I know.. I lost so many hours creating crazy tracks with Stunts... then launching the Ferrari GTO or the NSX over them :)

        I even used the keyboard to control it, so the transition to iphone should be pretty simple... the funny thing is that the 3GS is probably 10X more capable from a graphics standpoint than even the most capable machine back then.. it would be nice to smooth out the models a bit, enhance the graphics and add multiplayer.. i wonder who broderbund sold the license too??

  • mike

    pretty decent-looking sense of speed actually from what it looks like in the video.. It sort of makes me want someone to build an iphone port of Stunts (4D racing) - provided the controls can be implemented properly.

    • Blades

      Stunts was an awesome game. I played the crap out of it in the 386DX-486SX days. Awwww the memories. In fact a game like STUNTS would be a lot of fun on the iphone. Build your own tracks, loops, jumps, bridges etc... it would be rather cool. In fact if you wanted it to be totally authentic have the program lock up if you take long than 10 mins on one track....lol good ol' DOS days.

      • mike

        I know.. I lost so many hours creating crazy tracks with Stunts... then launching the Ferrari GTO or the NSX over them :)

        I even used the keyboard to control it, so the transition to iphone should be pretty simple... the funny thing is that the 3GS is probably 10X more capable from a graphics standpoint than even the most capable machine back then.. it would be nice to smooth out the models a bit, enhance the graphics and add multiplayer.. i wonder who broderbund sold the license too??

  • Adams Immersive

    I’ll know I have my Stunt Car Racer when I can drop into a gap, still alive, and floor it in reverse until I bounce off the wall of the gap and go flying into the sky :)

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Hah, totally!

    • Adams Immersive

      Homer Simpson playing SCR:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKx8JfIQQCw

      Weird... but I like it! :)

    • Afd

      I'll know I have Stunt Car Racer when I can connect my iPhone to my Amiga 500 with a null-modem cable and play multi-player....

  • Adams Immersive

    I’ll know I have my Stunt Car Racer when I can drop into a gap, still alive, and floor it in reverse until I bounce off the wall of the gap and go flying into the sky :)

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Hah, totally!

    • Adams Immersive

      Homer Simpson playing SCR:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKx8JfIQQCw

      Weird... but I like it! :)

    • Afd

      I'll know I have Stunt Car Racer when I can connect my iPhone to my Amiga 500 with a null-modem cable and play multi-player....

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    I LOVED Stunt Car Racer back then.
    Now, Jet Car Stunts won my heart completely.
    But I'm observing :)

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    I LOVED Stunt Car Racer back then.
    Now, Jet Car Stunts won my heart completely.
    But I'm observing :)

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

    I picked it up! Seems like a tech demo and not really a game. But it's fun and cheap!

    I would love to have a game that's more in-depth and polished. That also uses this games mechanics. Like maybe some cool tracks and other racers. Hopefully the update adds something cool...

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

    I picked it up! Seems like a tech demo and not really a game. But it's fun and cheap!

    I would love to have a game that's more in-depth and polished. That also uses this games mechanics. Like maybe some cool tracks and other racers. Hopefully the update adds something cool...

  • Toha

    Bring us flatout! Thats just a demo, maybe I will get it for free

  • Toha

    Bring us flatout! Thats just a demo, maybe I will get it for free

  • Noodle

    As I read this post and watched the video I got a weird sensation, that of a memory from decades ago emerging back into consciousness.

    Then I watched this video of Stunt Car Racer and the memories came flooding back.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wey5s5ceMxE

    I had totally forgot about this game and how awesome it was! Thanks TA!

    • Dan Dare

      Oh My God. Just watched the Stunt Car Racer youtube of the Little Ramp. What is amazing is how awesome it still looks after 20 odd years. I would love to have that exactly as it was on the iPhone.

  • Noodle

    As I read this post and watched the video I got a weird sensation, that of a memory from decades ago emerging back into consciousness.

    Then I watched this video of Stunt Car Racer and the memories came flooding back.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wey5s5ceMxE

    I had totally forgot about this game and how awesome it was! Thanks TA!

    • Dan Dare

      Oh My God. Just watched the Stunt Car Racer youtube of the Little Ramp. What is amazing is how awesome it still looks after 20 odd years. I would love to have that exactly as it was on the iPhone.

  • Dan Dare

    Everything Crammond did was gold. Ah the memories. Revs GOLD, Grand Prix Extra GOLD. If he's still around maybe he could do the real Stunt VCar for iPhone. If they had jumps and a course designer I'm getting this. Like someone said plays more like a tech demo.

  • Dan Dare

    Everything Crammond did was gold. Ah the memories. Revs GOLD, Grand Prix Extra GOLD. If he's still around maybe he could do the real Stunt VCar for iPhone. If they had jumps and a course designer I'm getting this. Like someone said plays more like a tech demo.

  • Gryphon23

    Looks cool. Is it worth the $1?

  • Gryphon23

    Looks cool. Is it worth the $1?