Looking back at our review of the original Real Racing [$4.99 / Lite / HD], we had a few disappointments, but overall had no issue calling it an "unrivaled racing experience." While EA has released a few great racers from the Need For Speed series, Real Racing was always my racing game of choice... Making me wonder what game was going to boot Real Racing off my personal throne of favorite racer on the platform. Unsurprisingly, Real Racing 2 [$9.99] was the game to do it.

The original Real Racing received universal acclaim from the gaming media, and even went on to take home an Apple Design Award at WWDC this year. Real Racing 2 is everything a good sequel should be in that it builds on top of the excellent foundation set by Real Racing, adding often requested features and other surprises we weren't expecting all while improving nearly everything that was retained from the first.

Just like Real Racing, the sequel is host to a variety of control options that mix and match touch and tilt, along with various automatic systems that can be enabled or disabled depending on your skill level. By default, Real Racing 2 is incredibly easy to play. Steering assist and anti-skid default to on, and the brake assist is cranked up as high as it can go. Controlling this way, the games handles almost everything for you, and all you need to do is tilt your phone right or left to steer. Alternatively, you can turn everything off and drive completely manually, controlling both the brake and the gas while either steering with touch or tilt, along with many options in between. Unfortunately, it seems that there isn't any way to manually change gears.

The graphics in Real Racing 2 are substantially improved. Both the tracks and the cars themselves seem much more detailed, and while you can change the camera to several positions, the most awe-inspiring is the cockpit view where each car's interior is modeled with extreme precision. Speaking of cars, one of the most surprising reveals before the game was released was the inclusion of 30 different fully licensed real cars. Brands range from VW to BMW to Ford and much more.

The number of cars in each race has been cranked up to 16, which I think is one of the most substantial improvements. Previously, iOS racers all felt pocket sized in one way or another. You never really got the full experience of a console racer because in most racing games you were only ever competing in 8 car races. Doubling this makes for races that are just crazy, especially on higher difficulty settings where the AI racers seem to actively try to prevent you from passing them-- Often creating epic battles between cars as you attempt to slowly climb to first place.

These 16 player races aren't limited to single player either, for the first time on the App Store you can play up against 16 players online. These huge online races are absolutely awesome, and work effortlessly. You tap the online multiplayer icon, and seconds later you're tossed in to a lobby with other players. Following a short countdown you're at the starting line of an online race. Real Racing 2 seems to prioritize quick matching to full races, so if you're playing at an off time you likely will get matched with fewer players. One thing I'd like to see in the future is if there was some kind of slider that you could set whether you prefer shorter wait times or larger races. Often times I wouldn't mind waiting a little bit longer to play with more people.

Also added is a new career mode, which Firemint is claiming should keep you busy for around ten hours. Playing through career mode will have you making your way through various events, earning money, buying cars, and upgrading them. The career mode also serves as a bit of a tutorial, as the early events require you to do things like upgrade your car to a certain performance threshold, win a certain number of popularity points, or even paint your car a different color. One minor complaint I do have about this is that at the start of the game you're given a small amount of cash to buy your first car. This requires you to go through all the different cars searching for one you can actually afford. While I suppose this initially gives you a good idea of just how many cars there are, I would have much preferred to just have the option to select an available starter car instead of needing to search through everything else.

Though Real Racing 2 may have a few things I'd like to see changed, it's without a doubt the current king of iOS racing games. I'd go as far as calling it the perfect iPhone game. The controls are perfectly suited to the platform, the graphics are fantastic, and Real Racing 2 is compatible with every iOS device, even the ancient 1st generation iPod touch. The online component is fantastic, the career mode is a welcome addition, and there's even a new car damage system that reflects just how much you've been bumping in to things. There aren't many other games that showcase what the iOS platform is capable of more than Real Racing 2, so much so, that Apple should just be bundling it with their devices. Do not miss this game.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Russiaone

    Perfect? What are you smoking? Awesome as hell? Yessir!

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

    The most engaging racing experience on the iOS platform, PERIOD.

    • GodSon

      Agreed.

  • delete3

    Played 6 hours so far. Best racing game on iOS yet and so far one of my favourite games. Excellent job Firemint!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=774507787 Zach Williams

    I've been trying my best to hold off on getting this one but after reading so much about how amazing it is this review may have just pushed be over the edge.

  • MicroByte

    I couldn't get into the first one as much, it seemed pretty generic and was fun for a short period of time.

    With that said, I cannot stop playing this one! I think Firemint nailed it with this game.

  • tonyunreal

    The background is too blurry on 3rd gen devices, I couldn't help notice the texture blinking all the time, guess it's time to upgrade. :(

    • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

      I'm amazed it runs on old iPhones at all. Even on an iPhone 4 the frame rate struggles somewhat at times.

      • sss

        How smooth (or not) it is on iPhone 3G compared to the original Real Racing?

      • GeoSpyder

        It runs fine on my 1st Gen. Touch. Haven't had any trouble so far. And, even though my battery is just about shot on my old device, RR2 doesn't seem to drain it too fast, relatively speaking, of course. :)

      • Th3R3n3gad3

        Just one word. HOW!

  • LittleBuster

    Please make another game like this, only with 7x the acceleration

    • Wonderboy

      There is one out there already, it's called Asphalt. It also saves the realism and trades it for nitro

    • Wonderboy

      There is one out there already, it's called Asphalt. It also saves the realism and trades it for nitro

  • Rodrigornc

    AWESOME GAME!!! Cant stop playing this... OMG, thanks FIREMINT... great JOB! Firemint will release a update for 3GS with antialiasing? I hope so!

  • unholy3000

    Sick game, no doubt! First one was legit, but this one is mad impressive. Good job

  • sky

    If they made a Burnout game on this engine (aka a 100% remake of burnout 3), I would be willing to spend up to $15-20 for it.

  • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

    @this

    Got the first one and i was bored out of my mind. So boring. So hard.

  • Puertorican

    Perfect? That makes no sense at all. I'm hoping the iPad version comes out soon!

  • JCGaga

    Perfection is subjective.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503776641 Matthew Winkworth

      Quite so. I mean, I don't like or play racing games, so however amazing it is it won't be my perfect game :/

  • Anonymous

    I"m having a hell of a time with the Mustang challenge. They really did code the mustangs poor handling extremely well. lol

    • http://twitter.com/dlehman Dave Lehman

      Ditto here. Anyone have any tips for this challenge?

      • Guest

        I recommend steering and brake assist for cars you're not familiar with, that was how i got through that challenge.

        Also, with a car like the mustang your cornering is even more important to maintain that high speed.

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    I agree, this is a superb iOS game, perhaps the best on the system after Dodonpachi and Game Dev Story.

    It's not quite perfect though. Online play, while it's great that it's included, has proved rather laggy for me (and I have a blazingly fast broadband connection and 802.11n network). Not a big deal though as I mostly play iOS games on the train, which means 3G or no signal at all, and so it's single player all the way.

    Visually it's a huge improvement over the original, with great looking cars and presentation. The tracks though, while certainly better, now stand out as looking a bit flat in places. A few more polygons here and there and a few reflective window pixel shaders would work wonders.

    Still, a great game and I've been playing it a lot, even with so many other great iOS releases lately. Amazing too that a small team like Firemint can so completely beat racing games from huge developers like EA. I guess that's what happens when you see iOS as a real platform, instead of just a bit of extra revenue on the side.

  • life_is_pleach

    Will there an iPad Version this time again?

  • Bad Shad

    It's masterpiece, no doubt. Firemint - i can't imagine RR3. It is possible to make better racing game than RR2? No way.

    • Wonderboy

      There is, wait for RR3

    • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

      Things can always be improved. The track side scenery could get better I think, and of course, more cars and tracks would be nice.

      Look at Gran Turismo 5. That's the current benchmark for sim racers, and Real Racing 2, good though it has, has only a tiny amount of content by comparison.

      • Freeway82

        Gran Turismo 5 is not the current benchmark for sim racers on any platform. GTR2 it is on PC and Forza 3 on consoles. Quit living in past glory because everybody has moved on.

      • Anonymous

        Freeway, that's clearly your opinion, and not shared by Metacritic.com...

      • Sehej

        Umm...Forza 3 has a metacritic score of 92 wheres Gran Turismo 5 has a score of 84..

      • Anonymous

        Eurogamer and quite a few others at Metacritic place them both on-par at the very least. For a pure sim, Forza 3 doesn't come close to GT5, especially in the realism of the cars.

      • Bgeldz

        GTR2 is an excellent sim, but GTR Evo, LFS, rFactor, RaceRoom, and iRacing are *at least* as good.

      • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

        Thanks for sharing.

      • Akira01

        GT5 is on PS3, RR2 is on iPhone...
        But RR2 is better than GT on PSP ;) (FAR better)

  • bluebird

    I accidentally bought this version thinking it would be universal :-( Really, they should bring it out as such, unless the iPad version will be markedly improved.

    • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

      I agree it should be universal (all apps should be), but at least retina display games - which is to say, virtually all iPhone games now - play in near full screen with no scaling on an iPad since iOS 4.2.

      • bluebird

        Are you sure about this Phil? Because I have an iPad with iOS 4.2, and when zooming to x2, the pixels are blocks. You'd expect this to work, since it's a retina game, but Apple does not seem to have implemented it the way you say. In effect I am watching a pre-retina game on my iPad.

    • Adams Immersive

      I thought the same thing, since the article said "every iOS device.” Technically, it’s compatible with iPad (doubled) but not ideal.

      • Tower Defender

        Yeah I hate x2ing my games, because I know it doesn't look as good as it could look.

    • AlanB

      I ended up buying the original twice. Can't say I regret it, but can say I'll wait for the iPad version this time around. (Though with all these glowing comments, it's not easy.)

  • Anonymous

    Definitely a 5/5! Congratulations! Is it the best racer? Yes. If I am granted one feature to add: option to save/share Replay ;-)

  • Sticktron

    Awesome game, but still falls short of GT Racing Academy in some respects.... manual transmission, better racing model, more parts/cars, iPad version.

  • Lukwtwz

    Fix it and bundle it and mark it with a Ftw.

  • merlinsbeards

    Real Racing got the multiplayer update finally. For those who don't have $10.00 at the moment.

  • Tower Defender

    I hope it goes universal, because I won't buy an ipad version that's over 10 bucks.

  • ahllstompyouinafukinmudpatch

    graphics and speed improve on newer ipod/iphones?

  • http://twitter.com/Ryeleyk Ryeley Kuykendall

    Anti-Aliasing is the only thing the game needs, and, maybe a bunch of other cars, and maybe a few more tracks. No scratch the tracks, instead just give us more cars :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NW4OOGPVUTRTCNHMCMVPEMWKWM Wegwg

    Google in the input:=== ashops.us===== you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o

  • Guest
  • Stormchild

    Small correction: in the original Real Racing, races involved six cars, not eight.

  • Dave

    So how does it look and play on the iPad? I can't seem to find any comments about it.

    • bluebird

      It plays just fine but it is very blocky (assuming you zoom to x2). If I were you I would wait a bit until the HD version is coming out. The HD version has been confirmed in the firemint FAQ.

  • Smegley

    The fact that they won't do a universal version leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Guess I will pass for now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roberto-Pulito/1394935039 Roberto Pulito

    IMHO The perfect iPhone-game lets you listen to iPod music in-game :P

    • Jonathan

      It does. Just open up the music BEFORE launching the game.

Real Racing 2 Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 5