The incredible hype surrounding Pixelbite's upcoming Reckless Racing (formerly Deliverace) has been growing fervidly since we previewed the game back in March. But disappointingly, the game's release keeps getting pushed back, and when we'll actually be able to have the complete game in our hands remains uncertain. This delay has allowed a competitor to steal much of that thunder, and for gamers who are looking for something similar that's available right now, LilRacerz [99¢] is a new top-down racing game from developer Blast One.
While not quite as ambitious as Reckless Racing, LilRacerz is a fun arcade-like experience with excellent graphics, a ton of tracks, and plenty of upgradeable vehicles to unlock. If you were ever a fan of Super Sprint or Micro Machines games on systems past, then this is as close as you can currently get to those classics on your iPhone. There are a couple of minor issues with the game, but any negatives are quickly forgotten as the core racing gameplay is so incredibly enjoyable.
There are 17 different tracks in Lilracerz, spread across 9 cups in 3 difficulty leagues. You'll race on desert, ice, dirt, and tarmac courses, and each surface handles as you would expect. The purposely floaty physics and handling of the vehicles can cause some miscues while racing, but is also what makes it such a blast to play. Some races you'll beat your very first try, blowing away the AI racers, and some races will take multiple retries before completing. One wrong move can spell the end for a race, but this inconsistent difficulty doesn't really diminish the overall enjoyment of the game. The nicely detailed 2.5D graphics give a firm nod to the 16-bit and arcade eras while still being impressive in a modern sense. An awesome chiptune soundtrack accompanies the action, adding to the retro-feeling vibe.
The weakest aspect of the game is the somewhat flimsy upgrade system for your vehicles. You'll collect money spread across the track as well as by completing races which can be used to purchase upgrades in grip, acceleration, speed, or steering. I seemed to be able to play a huge portion of the game with the very first stock vehicle, thus collecting an enormous sum of money and fully upgrading my later unlocked vehicles in one shot, rendering the whole thing kind of pointless. It's not really a huge issue, and could easily be tweaked in a future update.
Speaking of updates, the dev has been actively discussing ideas in our forums such as a hard mode, reversed tracks, night time racing, and new vehicles. There's even talk of some kind of multiplayer functionality, which would indeed be a very exciting addition to this fun single player game. One nice addition already included is Crystal implementation, with many achievements to unlock and a leaderboard for every track. Once you've beaten the single player campaign, going back to compete for times online is a great way to extend your play time. If you're looking for some fast-paced arcade style racing, you can give LilRacerz a test drive for it's current sale price of 99¢.
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