Reckless Racing [$2.99/HD] is one of those games that almost needs no introduction. Ever since we posted the first video back in early March, when it was called Deliverace, gamers were impressed with the incredibly detailed graphics engine and arcade-like physics in the game. Later that same month, our hands-on video and an additional gameplay video only served to intensify the fervor of anticipation for the game now known as Reckless Racing. While initially developer Pixelbite Games had pegged the game for an “early 2010” release, suddenly everything went quiet regarding news on Reckless Racing. The weeks passed with no word from Pixelbite on the status of the game or a release date, and fans in our forums started to doubt if the game would even be released at all.

Then in late July, nearly five months after the game's announcement, we finally learned that EA Mobile had picked up Reckless Racing and would be publishing the title for Pixelbite. This was good news as it meant the game hadn't been cancelled, but we were still left without a solid release date. Meanwhile, the hype continued to swell in our forums to an astronomical degree as the weeks again began to pass without any sign of Reckless Racing. Then, just this past week, EA announced that the game would finally be coming out on October 21st, and there was much rejoicing.

Common sense would tell us that practically no game could match the incredible amount of hype that Reckless Racing has garnered in the past 7 and a half months, but casting that aside now that the final game is in our hands we can at least say that this is an incredibly enjoyable top-down arcade racing experience – just as we had hoped it would be. It definitely feels lacking in terms of track and vehicle options, especially taking into account the long development time, but what is here is super high quality and becomes an easier pill to swallow thanks to a really reasonable price point. Like many of the best games on a mobile platform, the biggest problem with Reckless Racing is that there just isn't enough of it.

Upon starting the single player game, you are thrust into a simple but very useful tutorial. Here you can choose from one of the five different control schemes (that include various onscreen buttons, virtual steering wheels, or tilt controls) and test them out to your heart's content on a practice track until you've found the one that suits you. Quitting the tutorial takes you to the main racing menu where you can choose either Dirt Rally, Hot Lap, or Delivery mode and pick from 6 different cars and 5 different tracks to race on.

Dirt Rally is like a championship mode where you'll race 3-4 laps on each of the 5 tracks on bronze, silver, and gold medal difficulties. Once the first 5 tracks have been completed, a reversed version of each one must then be played. The Hot Lap mode has you racing your choice of track over and over again trying for the very best lap time you can get, with medals earned by beating certain time requirements. The ghost from your best lap races along with you to give you something to compete with, and any of the ghosts from the online leaderboards can be downloaded and raced against as well.

Delivery mode is fairly different from the rest of the game, and is quite a lot of fun. It takes place on its own map that is both larger and more open than the regular racing tracks. You're given either 3, 5, or 8 minutes to complete as many deliveries as you can before time runs out. A package will be picked up at one point on the map and taken to another to complete each delivery, with a handy waypoint guiding you in the right direction at all times. The dollar value of each delivery decreases the longer you take to complete it, and at the end of the time limit your total number of deliveries and cash earned serve as the score for Delivery mode.

All of these single player modes include online leaderboards, and there is also an excellent online multiplayer mode that lets you race in Dirt Rally or Hot Lap modes with up to 3 other players over WiFi or 3g. The online portion works really well in my experience, always remaining smooth on my end although occasionally other racers would lag and teleport around the tracks. Overall the online high score tracking and multiplayer mode add a ton of incentive to keep playing Reckless Racing after you've earned every medal in the single player portion.

The two things that really stand out about Reckless Racing are the stunning Retina Display graphics and the fun physics system. The attention to detail in the game is incredible, with dust and dirt flying behind your vehicle's tires, tire tracks that remain on the course until the race is over, environmental objects like street signs and fences that can be destroyed, and excellent use of lighting and shadows to really bring the game to life. Driving is a blast as you drift around every turn on tracks comprised of both cement and dirt portions that both behave quite differently from one another. The tracks are designed really well, with plenty of jumps or small shortcuts to take and dangerous cliffs to fling yourself off of if you aren't careful. Racing around is just flat out fun, and it's hard not to be impressed with how beautiful everything looks while you're doing so.

Really the only thing I don't like about Reckless Racing is that it's all over too soon. The online leaderboards and multiplayer mode go a long way in lengthening the experience, but inevitably you'll have every nook and cranny of every track down pat before you know it. Owners of the iPad version get 3 additional tracks (each with a reversed version) on top of the original 5 included in the iPhone version. If you have a choice between the two, Reckless Racing HD is worth the couple of extra bucks for the added content. Player impressions in our forums are largely positive, despite being short on content. I sincerely hope that EA and Pixelbite continue to add content to the game with future updates, as the core of the game is done so well, but even as is Reckless Racing is a fun ride that is well worth taking.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://twitter.com/NoSuperMan ImNoSuperMan

    I'm having a lot of fun with this game (along with the other release today - Samurai II). Even though there arent too many tracks (8 in ipad and 5 in Iphone version) they are just stunning. Looks incredible on the ipad. Seriously enjoying both the online and offline modes. Only thing which is lacking here is Gamecenter support. If EA ever decides to add GC in reckless racing, there wont be much to complain here as far as I'm concerned.

  • JimRAKETE

    its great - cool look and cool gameplay :)

    • http://twitter.com/PocketGeckoBlog PocketGecko

      Agreed. Good Graphics. Not enough features though. I found a FREE alternative with 10 cars, 34 tracks, and more features. See here: http://bit.ly/aLJcvO . Just thought I'd let you guys know.

      Reckless Racing is still a fabulous game. But it needs more features.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZSH34UP6R2TTHTDQ2UQIUCHGNU andrzej raczynski

    nitpicking here about something that's been annoying me about reviews/infomercials here since the ipad came out... can you be consistent in your price/links?

    i.e. in the first sentence, instead of saying "Reckless Racing [$2.99/HD] " say "Reckless Racing [$2.99/$4.99]" or if you'd like to just be completely informative, take the time to write "Reckless Racing [$2.99 iPhone/$4.99 iPad]"

    including one price and two separate links implies same price for both, or 2.99 for HD, or any other number of fragmenting and incorrect interpretations.

    that is all, carry on.

    • Nickmorgs

      The price details at the end of the article aren't clear enough ?!

      App Store Links:
      Reckless Racing, $2.99
      Reckless Racing HD, $4.99 (iPad Only)

    • Dashiki

      I agree, be more specific TA!

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      The reason we do it like that is so we don't have an entire line of iTunes links that wraps weird. i.e. Let's Golf [$4.99 iPhone / iPhone Lite / $4.99 iPad / iPad Lite]. Let's Golf [$4.99 / Free / $4.99 / Free] doesn't work either because it isn't clear what link is what.

      Regardless, all of the pricing information is at the end of the article in a bulleted list and updates with the App Store.

      • Dashikiiii

        Fair enough! :)

      • Aer2

        so why show the price of only one? either show all or none, otherwise it just seems as intentionally misleading. i'd much rather see [$2.99/$4.99] with no verbiage.

        as is, i personally have no interest in the iphone pricing when i don't want iphone apps, i want to know what the ipad price is, so why make me click and waste time waiting for a browser window to open and then have it force junky itunes to force itself on top yet again.

        and no, putting it at the end isn't the same, i personally don't read the articles as they tend to sound like commercials more often than not, i skim the first lines for a price, and then i look for the video and make up my own mind as to whether what i see is worth the price asked.

        maybe the smarter thing to do would be to put the 'long' price info at the very top instead of the very bottom, and/or both, and then only refer to the name of the app in the article.

      • Jared Nelson

        Right. Because scrolling down 3 inches past the video you are going to watch anyway is this incredibly tedious task. Gotcha.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335603011 Greg Feingold

        "I personally don't read the articles"
        WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THIS SITE?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N3ZZDGYS2FW2DOFMPXV3SGSGY4 k88dad

        I come for the insightful comments.

  • invid

    I wish this were a universal app. I would pay the extra for the added content even though I don't have an iPad yet (waiting for the hardware refresh).

  • http://www.facebook.com/krisx85 Kris Butler

    grabbed this on ipad this morning and really like it... i'm sure they will add more tracks... but sadly i'm also sure they'll charge us for it!

  • http://twitter.com/pobregizmo Pobre Gizmo

    From the devs, who I emailed regarding updates this morning( quick response!):

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your interest in our game. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did making it. Regarding updates: We have a roadmap planned for updates for this game but I can't go into more detail than that. I can say that we're very proud of this game and both we and EA intend to fully support it and we will keep the feedback of our fans high on the to-do list :)

    Best regards,
    Anders

    Looks like good news. After seeing the effort and passion deva put behind apps like angry birds, calvetica, and tilt to live, I'm far more inclined to buy a game if te dev seems to keep in contact with their customers.

  • Anonymous

    The graphics look awesome. I'd love for them to release an 'endless' mode similar to spy hunter instead of circular tracks. Here's to wishing!

  • delusionaltool

    retina is not enabled on ipod touch 4....

    • EzeKiel

      so? are you telling me you REALLY see the difference between retina and normal display on EVERY single game? what are you? a damn hawk or something?

      Can we just cut it out with the retina thing please? it's starting to sound like the lame "is he dead?" meme.

      I have every iphone/ipod that came out to the market in my power, and sincerely, there are just 2 games out there I was able to fully enjoy with the "retina" display. TWO! the rest, frankly, they all look the same.

      And really; is not like it is any different from looking to your regular LCD display. You guys talk about retina like if my eyes where to pop out from its sockets when I look at the "incredible high definition graphics" while I pee my pants in shock; and I don't see much of a difference there. You have to REALLY get close to notice something.

      Who plays a game that close anyway? Just a slight comfort around the borders of things, that's all.

      I believe some of you, my fellow gamers, eat too much Hype in the morning with your cereal...

      • delusionaltool

        really? seriously is this how you comment with a start of a fight...im just saying the game does not have retina display enabled on the ipod touch 4...its easy to tell with the resolution of retina being much higher then the old display its night and freaking day...

        Get your eyes checked if you think there is no different, as there is less to no pixelation and everything is much more crisp and clear...

        compare this non retina display taken from ipod touch 4 and compare it too this review retina screen shots if you cant tell a difference then you got some issues...

        http://forums.toucharcade.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=24578&d=1287679797

      • Co-Op forever

        OMG! It's true! It's like read the new york time under a caribbean waterfall in summer! I think the surgeons should use Iphones 4 in the operating room, instead the little 320x240 shitty camera they use. They could see a crisp and clear aorta with this gem!!!!

      • darkwarrior

        You have one point: give devs a break, retina is coming.

        But you fail on every other level. Retina updated apps are sheer brillance. If you can't see the difference you're either vision impaired or never updated apps. Hell you don't even need anything, just load up a news site like nyt and you can read the whole page without zooming...in portrait. Do that on your 'I can see no difference' non-retina screen.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335603011 Greg Feingold

        Thank you. The retina difference is pretty small.

      • http://twitter.com/joshwyatt Joshua Wyatt

        Get your eyes checked dude. Graphics that support the Retina Display resolution are a LOT better. If you've ever got the chance to load up a Retina Display game (such as this, or the free Epic Citadel) on two devices to compare, you'll see what I mean. In short. What you're saying is the equivalent of proclaiming that upscaling a DVD is the same quality as a Blu-Ray on an HDTV. You're outright wrong.

      • EzeKiel

        I have the chance actually, and all I see is how they sold the "retina" hype everywhere. It's like when a new mac comes out; you can hear everyone saying the same thing Steve Jobs say on the keynotes. "Hi mom... oh, look at that cake, it is very crispy, and glossy, and glass-like cake. I can't believe you baked that, is so light and thin, it fits in an envelope look!"

        Makes me sick in my stomach seeing how their empty their brains and put a wire magazine inside instead of it.

        For what you say, it's better to gauge my own eye balls and duck-tape two iphone 4 to my skull to see reality on a High Definition.

        Get a grip on yourself and stop eating so many ADS in the morning. I have every iphone, played games side by side to notice the difference: almost none. Too little to call it difference; except a few games and that even isn't close enough to the hype.

      • YuhooUyuhoo

        Lol of course your friend Feingold liked this, "Ezekiel," always the optimists, your kind

      • Dashikiii

        Shut it, we have retina display and we want HD graphics. Its like plugging in a blu-ray player using AVI instead of HDMI. Without retina display support, the games look blurry and washed out. We have a right to complain!

      • EzeKiel

        Sure you have man, I never said you didn't. I'm just saying you are complaining for the wrong reason, that's all. And by the way; I HAVE ALSO a retina display and NO, games don't look blurry and washed out, they look the same to me (and to hell of a lot more people).

        Just because you bought the whole retina hype does not mean everyone did, so calm down about it. You ask Retina games like a junkie ask for another "shoot".

        I honestly don't need to check my eyes or anything; I believe you should CALM DOWN with all the retina display mambo-jumbo and play the games like they come.

        I can picture some of you in a dark corner throwing stuff at your moms writing "RETINA, RETINA, RETINA" all over the walls. TAKE IT EASY for god's sake. Is NOT THAT IMPORTANT because THERE IS NOT THAT MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE.

        Now if you "feel" like you should have it with retina just to be a better person or something; it has something to do with your social status as a gamer or because you spent $500 on a phone and now you want to squeeze every single possible moment of it before Steve Jobs comes out with the iPhone 5 with "Glandular EyeBall Retina" support or some new mambo-jumbo crap; that's fine. But don't spit on my screen yelling for something that you don't even realize how to enjoy; that is, a game.

      • Dashikiii

        Wow you write all that and you're telling ME to calm down? hahaha. Also you tell us we have a right to complain, then write an essay bashing us for complaining about an issue that is just a dev being lazy. Stop wasting so much time arguing and move along.

      • EzeKiel

        Dev being lazy? you think you just push a button and it comes retina-ized? what do you think most games don't have retina support sherlock? because developers love to hear you cry about retina support?

        Get real. Is not as hard as making a game, but it ain't worth the effort just to make you and 1% of the user base happy. That's not laziness, they just picked their battles. That's how it looks to me.

        And it's not an essay; it's just a comment. TAKE IT EASY man, breath through your nose; retina might come for this game but, enjoy it as it is right now.

      • KristaMays

        EzeKiel, shut up you're the only one getting angry, not him. Plus it's easy to add retina support, look it up.

      • EzeKiel

        Easy? maybe you can add retina to all the games out there and save developers tons of hours of work! they just have to "look it up". Gosh... kids this days.

      • myco

        if the frame rate didnt have issues i wouldnt care so much about having retina support. but choppy framerate + no retina support on a retina device.... i dont know, just a thought

      • Jared Nelson

        Anybody who cannot tell the difference between retina and non-retina graphics has a serious medical condition and should probably see a doctor as soon as possible.

        I'm sorry but higher resolution looks different than lower resolutioin. It's just an absolute fact.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335603011 Greg Feingold

        I don't want to be rude (this IS the Internet, but let's all get along) but can the man have his own opinion? :)

      • Jared Nelson

        I hear ya. I was just taken aback by Ezekiel's seething rage towards the original poster's harmless comment. He wasn't whining that the game should have RD graphics, rather that a technical glitch wasn't triggering it on the 4th gen iPod touches (which I'm sure is something they'll fix soon. I've seen it happen with a few games already where RD works on 4th gen iPhones but not iPods). If I bought a BluRay that only played in standard def I'd complain about it too.

        Sorry for the snark Ezekiel. But I still believe there is a huge difference between RD and non-RD graphics, and it's not just people that are "buying into the Apple hype" as you're implying.

  • GiHubb

    Another great and accurate review by TA! The game is beautiful and the driving controls are spot on, sliding is extremely fun. The multiplayer is also a blast. As for updates, knowing EA I'm sure they actually wanted us to buy the game for $10 or so but knew no one would. So I'm quite sure they held back some tracks which they will be releasing as in-app DLC, my guess: 3 tracks = $1.

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    Put wrecking car phisics, put a bumper/close/far race cams, and you have a perfect clone of the Flatout 2 - the best wrecking car game ever, and the racer that had me playing for the most time.

    • Anonymous

      absolutely.. the engine used for this game could be put to some good use

  • Guillaume

    As awesome as expected on iPhone4. I might even get it on iPad too.

  • Hugo Larsson

    We will see a lot more of regionspecific titles now that EA bought Chillingo.

    Not available in the Swedish store. Bummer since the developers are from Sweden.

    • http://twitter.com/dusser Rasmus Andersson

      Um, it's definitely available in the swedish store. I'm looking at it right now..

  • Quickmix

    Great game :)

  • http://twitter.com/silentrocco Rocco Menzel

    This game is nice, controls (and control options) are awesome.
    But it's one of those apps, which get old rather quickly.

  • http://twitter.com/joshwyatt Joshua Wyatt

    This game would have benefited with some sort of incentive system. Having all cars and tracks unlocked from the beginning just serves to highlight how little content there is.

    It would have been good to start in bronze difficulty with only slow cars enabled, and unlocking faster cars as you progress through the difficulties. I picked the racing buggy and lapped everyone on all the tracks through bronze on my first playthrough. Basically seen all the content in the space of 30 mins. In hindsight I should have started on gold difficulty.

  • Aer2

    the game screenshots/video look great. as for the whole 'retina hype' yeah, there's a noticeable difference, but quite frankly, its sitll a dinky little gameboy sized screen.

    if you put either of them against an ipad of the same game, the comparison of iphone pre/post retina and ipad becomes like comparing apples, oranges, and a fruit tree.

  • Superfrog

    So... I bought an iPod Touch 4G and this game doesn't support its retina display? Also, what's the reason that there are only 5 tracks in the iPhone/iPod Touch version whereas the iPad version has 8? This is pissing me off.

  • Superfrog

    So... I bought an iPod Touch 4G and this game doesn't support its retina display? Also, what's the reason that there are only 5 tracks in the iPhone/iPod Touch version whereas the iPad version has 8? This is pissing me off.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335603011 Greg Feingold

      We ARE paying more... :o)

      • Jewstomper

        That nose is pretty accurate, good call. Would it kill you to pay more?

    • Laloka

      pissing you off? you pay halv the price for the iPod version, as for content, well, i guess the guys plan adding a few updates, so lets give them a chance to prove it

  • TowerDefender

    I'm loving this game. What would be perfect is offline multiplayer. They could totally split the screen in half and have 2 players play on the ipad version :).

  • http://openid-provider.appspot.com/smlong426 Stephen

    FYI, this game is also available for Android.. published by Polarbit.

    • Anonymous

      But how does it compare?
      Ignoring the hardware; same number of tracks? Price? Native Rez? FPS?

  • Artfoundry

    Haven't bought the game yet, but I plan to eventually. One thing I would love to see in it that would add nicely to the content issue would be weapons and upgrades. Being able to modify your car with new shocks/tires/bumpers/spoilers and a slew of different weapons to blow up your opponents would be awesome. And to add to that, if your opponents dropped components/gear (like weapons and upgrades) when they die, that would be even cooler - you could drive over to pick them up and then install them on your car at a garage somewhere on the road. Finally, add an open arena type map for you to battle it out with other cars. These additions would make the game an instant buy for me!

    • Grandma's House

      So you want them to update it into Twisted Metal??

  • Robinhood

    WIFI? I can't see it in the multiplayer type selection screen.

  • http://www.perfectoled.com electronic signs

    THIS LOOKS VERY NICE .LET MY IPAD TRY IT .

  • jason

    This is ridiculous. Two different prices? Theres no reason all apps can't be universal now...

    Just knowing EA is behind this makes me not want to pay for this sort of nickel and diming

  • http://twitter.com/thomas_c_dk Thomas Christiansen

    Someone make Death Rally for iPhone :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/burakgurbuz Burak Mehmet Gürbüz

    does anyone remember ignition? 'twas a pc game :)

Reckless Racing Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 5