Bravo Game Studios' Touch Racing Nitro [App Store] reminds me a lot of one of my favorite NES racing games, RC Pro Am, which is a very good thing. In Touch Racing Nitro you race one of twelve RC cars around the eighteen included tracks. (Both are slowly unlocked as you play through the game.) There are a number of games that look similar on the App Store, but Touch Racing Nitro's single finger control method makes playing the game feel substantially different.

Instead of the somewhat expected racing controls where you're either tilting or using some kind of virtual joystick/steering wheel with on screen buttons, the developers have implemented this scrumptiously simple single finger input where the car goes in the direction of your finger, with your speed controlled by how far away your finger is from the center of the screen.

Our forum members seem somewhat divided on how they feel about the controls in the Touch Racing Nitro thread, but I really think once you get a hang of them they work quite well, especially since you can effectively play a fast paced racing game with one hand which allows me to multitask and do things like race my car in game while I drive my car in real life.

Like any good racing game, Touch Racing Nitro has its fair share of jumps for you to get massive air off of. This is assisted by using nitro that you pick up while burning around the track. Tapping on the screen with a second finger fires off your nitro which can either send you flying over jumps and ahead of the pack, or cause you to lose control entirely through a turn.

Two game modes are included: Tournament mode where you race against AI opponents and the self explanatory time trial mode where you can play any track you've unlocked. Sadly, there isn't any online leaderboards currently and the iTunes description only mentions Facebook Connect coming soon. After seeing how well Jet Car Stunts implemented their leaderboard and replay system via OpenFeint, it's hard to really imagine a racing game without that.

With how polarized the reactions on the forums have been regarding the controls, it really seems like Touch Racing Nitro is a game that badly needs a lite version. Once I got used to the single finger controls, I liked them a lot, but without anything to accurately compare them to it's hard to give a full recommendation on picking up the game if you're on the fence. So, it might be worth seeing how the online leaderboards play out and if a lite version ever materializes.

App Store Link: Touch Racing Nitro, $3.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://differhonestly.com spblat

    "... which allows me to multitask and do things like race my car in game while I drive my car in real life"

    Priceless.

  • http://differhonestly.com spblat

    "... which allows me to multitask and do things like race my car in game while I drive my car in real life"

    Priceless.

  • x999x

    Controls sounded promising until I saw it in action. Thats a lot of lost visual real estate when your fingers get in the way of the screen, and thats never a good thing.

    With as much polishing as this game appears to have, here's to hoping they implement another option for steering, maybe something like Horror racing which works well for this type of game.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      As usual with games that use this type of controls, the camera tends to exaggerate how much of the screen is actually covered during play -- it's easy enough to look around your finger and keep track of the action.

      Eli is right, though: some people are going to love these controls, other are going to hate them -- especially if they expect to master a game within minutes. The cool thing about the set-up is that, when you finally get used to it, it really do make you feel like you're in control of the vehicle (something that, sadly, never happened for me with Horror Racing). Obviously, more options is better than fewer, so it would probably be a good idea for the developer to implement an alternative scheme. When it comes to the tracks, the physics, and the animation, the game is pretty stellar, and would be a shame if people passed up on it because of the controls.

      • x999x

        I understand your point about being able to look around your finger to see the play field, I'm sure it just takes a little getting used to. However, from a design standpoint, I see this as an artificial level of difficulty that detracts from the overall experience to be had.

        Thats just my opinion on it, I'm a firm believer in the initial impression you get with games, and this game in particular falls short in that department for me.

  • x999x

    Controls sounded promising until I saw it in action. Thats a lot of lost visual real estate when your fingers get in the way of the screen, and thats never a good thing.

    With as much polishing as this game appears to have, here's to hoping they implement another option for steering, maybe something like Horror racing which works well for this type of game.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      As usual with games that use this type of controls, the camera tends to exaggerate how much of the screen is actually covered during play -- it's easy enough to look around your finger and keep track of the action.

      Eli is right, though: some people are going to love these controls, other are going to hate them -- especially if they expect to master a game within minutes. The cool thing about the set-up is that, when you finally get used to it, it really do make you feel like you're in control of the vehicle (something that, sadly, never happened for me with Horror Racing). Obviously, more options is better than fewer, so it would probably be a good idea for the developer to implement an alternative scheme. When it comes to the tracks, the physics, and the animation, the game is pretty stellar, and would be a shame if people passed up on it because of the controls.

      • x999x

        I understand your point about being able to look around your finger to see the play field, I'm sure it just takes a little getting used to. However, from a design standpoint, I see this as an artificial level of difficulty that detracts from the overall experience to be had.

        Thats just my opinion on it, I'm a firm believer in the initial impression you get with games, and this game in particular falls short in that department for me.

  • Chumbake

    You had me at RC Pro Am

  • Chumbake

    You had me at RC Pro Am

  • Mark

    "and do things like race my car in game while I drive my car in real life"

    Do you want to clarify that?
    Or do you really play games while driving?

    • Anthony

      yeah actually driving with one hand and playing with the other doesnt seem to be a good idea.

  • Mark

    "and do things like race my car in game while I drive my car in real life"

    Do you want to clarify that?
    Or do you really play games while driving?

    • Anthony

      yeah actually driving with one hand and playing with the other doesnt seem to be a good idea.

  • Cilo

    You mean I get to pay 3.99 to look at my hand! AWESOME!

  • Cilo

    You mean I get to pay 3.99 to look at my hand! AWESOME!

  • Volodymyr

    good game ruined by controls system

  • Volodymyr

    good game ruined by controls system

  • Mark

    I suppose the video showing this game, shows the worst way of controlling it anyway.

    A better approach would be to used one hand to hold the device and use the index finger of the other hand to play the game. Using it as a stylus you might say.

  • Mark

    I suppose the video showing this game, shows the worst way of controlling it anyway.

    A better approach would be to used one hand to hold the device and use the index finger of the other hand to play the game. Using it as a stylus you might say.

  • Blades

    While I do agree the camera doesn't not show the game off very well. I hope they have other options to control the car. On the IPAD this probably wouldn't be an issue. But Iphone/Itouch, it will be.

    $3.99 might deter people also, even though it looks good. Most will wait for a price drop. Like it or not, that is the App store way.

    ;

  • Blades

    While I do agree the camera doesn't not show the game off very well. I hope they have other options to control the car. On the IPAD this probably wouldn't be an issue. But Iphone/Itouch, it will be.

    $3.99 might deter people also, even though it looks good. Most will wait for a price drop. Like it or not, that is the App store way.

    ;

  • P0tent1al

    Love the look of this one...
    Not a fan of the control system... sorry

    This would be an instant purchase, with other control methods available, but any games that require you to peek around your finger during gameplay... not good.

    To the devs.. please check out Deliverace control options.

  • P0tent1al

    Love the look of this one...
    Not a fan of the control system... sorry

    This would be an instant purchase, with other control methods available, but any games that require you to peek around your finger during gameplay... not good.

    To the devs.. please check out Deliverace control options.

  • Duffman

    Duffman says "don't play games while driving your car DOOFUS"

  • Duffman

    Duffman says "don't play games while driving your car DOOFUS"

  • Zurie

    Love the game, hate the controls. I wish there was a mini slider on the bottom to control turning, similar to Pole Position.

  • Zurie

    Love the game, hate the controls. I wish there was a mini slider on the bottom to control turning, similar to Pole Position.

  • Geoff

    Waiting for a price drop or a lite version.

    I emailed the developer and they said they had a lite version in the works, I just emailed them again to see if I could get a timeline.

  • Geoff

    Waiting for a price drop or a lite version.

    I emailed the developer and they said they had a lite version in the works, I just emailed them again to see if I could get a timeline.

  • Jamie

    How do you unlock cars on this game ?

  • Jamie

    How do you unlock cars on this game ?