RedLynx's original DrawRace [$2.99] sucked up a large amount of my time, so when DrawRace 2 [99¢ / HD] was first announced, I had a small panic attack thinking of the amount of time it would kill in my day. Turns out, the attack was well warranted, because the sequel steps it up in every way imaginable.
The first game introduced us to the mechanic and it hasn't changed much this time around. You draw a line around a track, moving your finger quickly or slowly depending on how fast you want to go during that time, then you watch your car try to follow the line. The only difference is an added turbo button, which helps keep you engaged while you watch.
Like its predecessor, DrawRace 2 is all about momentum, but just like the first game, and even RedLynx's Trials HD, this is more of a puzzle game than a racing one. You draw your lines not for efficiency in distance, but in response to the physics of driving a car. At a fundamental level, it's a math equation wrapped in a casual title. Simply tracing a line on inside of the track won't get you far and you have to reason with the future tense in plotting your path.
Which isn't to say it's not easy to pick up and play, because it is. It's still challenging though, and by the time you reach the Pro and Champion sections of the campaign you'll be wrecking your brain to get things right.
The campaign itself is massive. You'll have 180 different challenges on 36 different tracks to complete, with each race having three separate gold medals to earn depending on how many racers you're up against. New to the mix is a good amount of vehicle variety -- each with its own handling style and each suited for the variety of different track types. Many of the tracks don't let you pick which car to use, but the ones that do force you to think about the environment and the track style while making your choice.
There are also several types of multiplayer built in. There is a single device, pass-and-play multiplayer, where you pass your device back and forth among friends. There is also a friend challenge, where you can race on a track and send your friends your time through Game Center to see if they can beat you. Finally, there is a World Championship mode where you'll log your best times and race against ghosts from players around the world. Each time you level up, you advance a tier and go up against better players.
DrawRace 2 also manages to completely change the look and feel of the original. Where the first game felt like a fun, pocket game with a simple look, the sequel rounds out the already full package of content with visual flare that isn't just pretty on the eyes, but adds to the overall experience. The menu screen is cleaner and easier to understand and even the line drawing mechanic is tightened up to better represent what you're doing both visually and aurally. Obviously the track and car graphics have been updated to 3D models and look great.
DrawRace 2 is not without its issues, though. Some might justifiably find the lack of any real feedback disheartening, because, as mentioned before, this is more about the tactics of racing than actually racing. Because of that, there is a dullness that settles in when you're stuck on a track and aren't able to figure out how to complete it. You will get stuck, but the madness that follows will only serve to help you down the line once you figure out what you're doing wrong. It can be frustrating to watch your car drifting out of control and not being able to help it, but it teaches you how to better approach the style of turn in the future.
This isn't a manic, balls-to-the-wall racer, it's a calculated, slow puzzle game. While the mechanic of the original is intact, the rest of the game sees updates in every single category and its absolutely bursting with content and game modes. It quickly moves from a casual distraction to a painfully difficult obsession, so be weary if you think you can play in bursts.