In the life of the App Store, the original 2009 release of Real Racing [$2.99 / $4.99 (HD)] was a massive turning point. As mentioned in our review, both the graphical quality and the "feel" of the game were unlike anything else available at the time. Almost a year and a half later when Real Racing 2 [$4.99 / $6.99 (HD)] hit, we questioned whether or not it was "the perfect iPhone game" in our review. Fast forward two more years and tonight Real Racing has officially turned into a trilogy with the release of Real Racing 3 [Free]. Everything in the game is better than its predecessors, except how much you'll need to fork out if you want to play it like you may have played previous installments in the series- Or essentially any racing game you've ever played before.

Real Racing 3 by far has the best "out of the box" experience of any iOS game I've played. After a totally free download which is going to suck up close to 2GB of free space on your device once it's installed you're thrown into what initially seems to be a typical pre-rendered intro cut scene of a Porsche zooming around a track- But then you quickly realize this isn't pre-rendered at all, this is running in real-time, on your phone. This first race serves as a brief tutorial of sorts on how the game works, and if you're online, you'll come to the second amazing realization that these other cars in the tutorial were actually driven by real people via Firemonkeys' new "Time Shifted Multiplayer" system. The whole thing is ridiculously impressive, particularly if you're used to the typical free to play offerings on the App Store which normally consist of basic arcade style games or endlessly reskinned cow clickers.

From there, you buy your first car (Per our tips post we recommend the Silvia!) and you're off to the races. I cannot stress enough just how great the graphics are in Real Racing 3. "Console quality" seems to be a buzzword often thrown around, but if there's any game that deserves that distinction it's this one. The game screams on the iPhone 5, with high resolution textures, amazing looking models, incredibly detailed car interiors, and mirrors that actually work. The sound design is great too, and with a good pair of headphones it's crazy just how immersive the game can feel- Even on the 4" screen of your phone.

Like previous Real Racing games, RR3 sports enough control configurations to satiate everyone regardless of how crazy you want the setup to be. There's options for tilt controls, on-screen controls, and every mixture of the two you can think of. There's also assistive systems for practically everything. If you're a super casual player that isn't very good at racing games, leave steering assist, brake assist, and traction control on and all you'll need to worry about is tilting your phone to drive around the track. If you're a experienced racer, you can take full control of everything (except shifting gears, oddly enough) and likely see way better results as you're not subjected to the overly-cautious automatic systems.

I've really been enjoying how the new Time Shifted Multiplayer works in Real Racing 3. Racing against ghosts has been around for what feels like forever, where you're playing against a car that you cannot interact with, recorded from a previous racing attempt. In this game, Firemonkeys have taken similar data and melded it with an AI racer. If you play into the social features and have friends who are also playing the game, you'll be actively racing against them, potentially hours after they completed the same race. The experience is particularly cool once you link up your Facebook account and randomly see friends on the track that you didn't even know had the game. What's even better is catching up to one of these friends, and actively being able to ram them out of the way to take first and beat their time.

After playing a few races, you'll quickly come to the harsh realization of just how much of a timer-based free to play game Real Racing is. You'll start the game out with a small initial load of premium currency, and periodically unlock smaller amounts in game, but Real Racing 3 is as much a waiting game as it is a racing game. You'll eventually find yourself waiting for the weirdest things stopping you from racing again, covering everything from installing performance upgrades to repairing your suspension. Of course you can skip all these time sinks by making it rain real-world dollars, making the actual price of Real Racing 3 anywhere between free to infinitely expensive depending on how often you open your proverbial wallet.

The up side, if there is one, is that these timers can be somewhat mitigated by playing intelligently and may not be an issue for you at all depending on how you play iOS games. Racing conservatively and actively trying to avoid wear and tear on your car can allow you to squeeze out a few more races before you need to repair, but you could also make the argument that what's fun about these sorts of games is aggressively taking corners, slamming into cars, and barely squeezing out a first place finish. You can't do that in Real Racing 3 unless you want to wait, potentially a very long time.

Personally, I'm so inundated by other things to play that the way I've been enjoying Real Racing 3 is by playing as much as I can, eventually hitting the wall with timers, and then just waiting for the game to send me a push alert telling me my car is repaired and ready to go. Then, when I have time I'll do a few more races before repeating the cycle again. I'm totally OK with this because these short bursts are typically how I play games on my phone. However, if you're the kind of person who wants to download a game like this and blow through it in one massive marathon play session, Real Racing 3 is very much not the game for you.

On the subject of push alerts, in its current iteration having them enabled has some serious drawbacks if you're annoyed by alerts. I'm of the camp of people who like their phone to buzz and beep as little as possible. I'll almost always say no to the popup asking if an app can send you push alerts, and will instantly delete anything that sends me alerts without asking, but I like Real Racing 3 enough that I want to be notified when I can play it again. Unfortunately, by allowing alerts, you're also inviting an endless stream of beeps and vibrates, particularly if you've got lots of friends playing the game. Real Racing 3 will send you an alert whenever someone beats your time in a race.

If you're an active player with friends who are also fairly active, you're in for alert spam like you've never experienced before. This wouldn't be so bad if these alerts actually did something. As it is, when you get an alert that a friend beat your time, you slide it, and the game just loads. It's not like you can swipe the alert to get thrown directly back into that same race to compete against them. The implementation seems really sloppy, and I wish there was a way I could turn this alert spam off while keeping the whole "Hey your car is ready to race again!" alert on.

Firemonkeys have shown that they can tweak these sorts of things on the fly. Since its release in New Zealand two weeks ago, the amount of time players have needed to wait for various things in game have varied wildly, and the solution to my push alert problem is just a checkbox away. It will be interesting to see how these aspects of the game evolve over time, especially considering in its current iteration the way timers work don't make a whole lot of sense. For instance, you can almost mitigate them entirely (or at least get to a point where you can play the game for way longer before stopping) by purchasing multiple cars. Real Racing 3 is actually at its worst for gameplay-stopping timers for new users, as once you hit the point where your car has to be repaired there is absolutely nothing for you to do other than wait or pay. Making new players hit this wall seems very counter-productive when it comes to user retention.

Real Racing 3 is a weird game to review. On one hand, it's free, and is the absolute best looking game available on the App Store right now. You need to experience the sights and sounds of the game as it is downright jaw-dropping to see what Firemonkeys has accomplished on a technical level. On the other, it feels incredibly strange to take a genre that's typically very hardcore and wrapping it in free to play trimmings with hard timer-based stopping points. The juxtaposition between awesome adrenalin-fueled racing and the "Sorry bro, insert coin or come back later" is very, very odd.

If you're a free to play gamer used to the often basic games that litter the Top Free chart on the App Store, Real Racing 3 is going to knock your socks off. Our verdict is to definitely give the game a try, and if you feel the timers are too oppressive, the alerts are too annoying, or it just doesn't otherwise jive with your play style, either download one of the other Real Racing games or check out other great racers on the App Store like Gameloft's Asphalt 7: Heat [$4.99] or EA's Need For Speed: Most Wanted [$4.99] and race the night away.

International App Store Link: Real Racing 3, Free

NOTE: We're not sure what (if any) difference there is between the two Real Racing 3 entries on the App Store. If one link doesn't work in your region, try the other one.

TouchArcade Rating

  • kyle_mccall

    4 stars ... cue the outrage

    • Stéphane Lachance

      The justification for it (Hey, it's still an awesome looking game) seems fair but I doubt most people will care beyond "OMG, your rating is too high. You should give it a zero!"

      • WeirdingWay

        Explain how it's fair. It tells EA it's OK to do this and to continue the trend instead of fighting back like they should. Taking one star away is just a tiny slap on the wrist and Eli is essentially getting densensitized to this model.

      • Stéphane Lachance

        No one at EA is gets really happy if some person on a review site says they like their app. They're happy if you give them money. So don't give them money. Firemonkeys apparently made a good game but many people object to its payment system. Heck, even I don't like free-to-play games based on waiting. But calling someone who enjoyed the game names or accusing them of bias doesn't help your cause and it doesn't hurt EA. Not paying money for their IAP, now *that* hurts EA.

      • WeirdingWay

        And positive reviews help drive sales. 4 stars is a positive review and that helps EA. I'm doing my part by not paying EA but Eli has essentially told people via the rating that IAP in this format hasn't hurt this game very much. If we don't trash games, no matter what the quality, for poor IAP implementations then we'll never see quality games with good IAP implementations anymore.

      • Stéphane Lachance

        And God forbid, that be his honest opinion. Because that's not what reviews are about: The opinion of the person who reviews. And even HE has problems with the IAP : "The juxtaposition between awesome adrenalin-fueled racing and the "Sorry bro, insert coin or come back later" is very, very odd."

      • WeirdingWay

        A good reviewer knows what the public consensus of the game will be before it launches (they have that opportunity since they get early copies). If a reviewer scores a game (that's the TL;DR a lot of people skip to) high with this sort of unpopular system, they're going against the grain of the consensus and invalidates any purpose in reading their future reviews. Games on this site can be found by rating on the right so it's pretty annoying to click on 4 star games and then read a review that basically says it has a major major problem. That doesn't read like a 4 star review.

        The IAP system on a game like this is like a giant medicine ball crushing a Ferrari. It doesn't matter that the car is awesome, it's basically undrivable so why recommend it with a high rating?

      • Stéphane Lachance

        Reviews are personal but justified opinions by professional or semi-professional gaming journalists, not your Dad telling you that you're right, that the big meannie EA is wrong. Eli covers the experience and his reservations about the IAP and in the end says you should at least give the game a chance. If that doesn't connect with your preconceived notion of what RR3 should be, that's all on you! Heck, his opinion might diverge from the common hive mind but that's OK. Because. It's. His. Opinion.

      • Stephen Staver

        It's a good game. You don't like the free-to-play format, TOO BAD. It's still a good game. Go play something else if you're so ticked off. 4-stars justified.

      • MidianGTX

        On the bright side, we know not to take your advice on any games in future.

      • Stephen Staver

        I could care less what you think. I can almost guarantee that I've played more iOS games (or games on just about ANY platform) than you have. I'm able to recognize a good game, even if I don't like one non-essential aspect of it. Get over yourself.

      • Karzay

        "Almost guarantee" is a contradiction. That's a bold statement to claim you played more games than someone else, when you really have no idea if it's true. It's certainly not proof that you can recognize a good game. If anything, it proves you're not very selective.

      • Illuminerdy

        Playing more games does not qualify your evaluations of them. I don't care one lick about this controversy, but unless you are a critical thinker, understand something about critical theory in visual mediums, your opinion means less than nothing to me.

      • Zeldaniac

        Non-essential? From what universe are you from again?

      • Jay G

        Wow, finally someone with some sense around here.

      • PureRumble

        Jay G, u do understand how ridiculous ur comment seems since theres mo way to tell to what comment above u are referring to, especially not in the TA app

      • Karzay

        I don't have the TA app, but it says Jay G is responding to Stephen Staver on the website. You can't really blame the guy for the TA app's short comings.

      • Jay G

        Obviously I wasn't talking about you.

        Nonetheless, my statement is broad enough to fit every single post, so pick one you agree with and that is the one I replied to.

      • JordanC07

        Reviewers never go by "the public view" this is so stupid. Have you played the game? The game is fantastic. I bought the 2.00 starter pack and I played for an hour last night, and I stopped because I had to go to bed. The timers are not aggressive. This review was spot on ad reviews are not supposed to have the "public consensus" in mind, if that were the case then reviews would be pointless. Reviews are an opinion of the individual and the reason we read reviews is to see what that individual thought before purchasing. This was a great review and you should just start to get used to freemium because its the big way developers on the App Store can make money because people like you won't buy an app for 9.99.

      • jamespr

        With all due respect to Toucharcade, I think you are overestimating the number of fucks given by EA with respect to some review of their iOS game on some website.

      • Karzay

        Companies quote good reviews to help propel sales and convince people to support and buy their products. One bad or good review doesn't matter as much as the consensus, but it does matter, if only a little because it all adds up. If a product is overwhelmingly rated badly, it hurts sells, thus hurting the company. So of course they care, if only indirectly.

      • Retero

        But on a "triple A" game considered a benchmark for graphical and gameplay mechanics, a four star review would not be something they would want on their description.

      • Karzay

        Check out the "Critial Praise" in the description for the Mass Effect app. 4/5 Gamezebo. That shows they've done it before. Besides, all they really need to do is grab a favorable line from the review and quote it. I'm certain the marketing team is going from website to website right now looking for praise.

      • Chris Watkins

        That's exactly what I've done with this app: I'm not spending a single dime on the IAP. Be patient. Buy a couple cars, and once you're over "the hump", you can just keep swapping out cars as they need repairs. Personally, I would've preferred paying for the app up front, like the last 2 games, and not having to deal with this freemium crap.

        I really miss time trials, qualifying laps, and the career mode. This game is a stripped down, glossy version of the last 2 great games.

        As soon as EA becomes a company's overlords, the following products usually go down in quality. Real Racing 3 is another example of this.

      • JPhilipp

        It's a systematic problem, not so much EA's problem (they want to make money, naturally). Maybe Apple should really have a proper trial-subscription system, where you simply spend an amount of X every month and give that to Apple (say $3) and it will then be equally shared among all the games you play, specifically divided by the time each game gets from you.

    • elmazzer

      EA made this free... So much of hard work... You should be grateful for that and give 5stars 😀 be a little more cultured xDDD

      • septimus

        It's not free. Potentially the most expensive game on the AppStore. You never stop paying no matter.

        EA need to be stopped and highlighting this game as anything but a cash grab is bad for gamers. 1 star. At least Eurogamer have the balls to be honest in their review of this game.

      • MrAlbum

        No. There is no upfront purchase of the game, and buying currency to bypass the timers is OPTIONAL. It sucks to have to wait, BUT YOU ARE IN FACT ALLOWED TO WAIT.

        Thus, the game is free. Thus, the game costs only as much money as you throw at it. Which can be zero if you want it to be zero.

  • MikeWD

    As many rage comments this review will get, this comments a good one. Good review 🙂

  • McCREE

    Good review. The positives outweighs the negatives in this game once you get a few cars and find your way over the payhill. If you have an ethical problem with the direction this franchise has taken, I understand. If you're worried about the IAP system ruining your experience with this title, worry not. The game really opens up after an hour or so of gameplay. The review does a great job of highlighting both sides of the coin and gives a very fair assessment of what this game is all about.

  • macsmister

    4 stars is fair. It is a great game but the IAP system bars the game from earning a perfect score. I wish there was an expensive IAP that would remove the timers altogether. I don't care to grind for car purchases and upgrades but having to wait in any shape or form is plain dumb.

    • WeirdingWay

      Bad IAP shouldn't only hurt the game by one star.

      If someone built a cheap car with great performance but required special gas that cost $1000 a gallon, I doubt it would get good reviews.

      • Stephen Staver

        It's still a good game. Deal with it.

      • mr ed209

        So you keep saying. We get it. You like it for some reason. So what? We don't. We are both allowed to be right, you know.

        As for your comment earlier about how proud you are of having played more iOS games than anyone else and how that means you're an authority on what 'good' is... How were you able to keep a straight face typing that?

        I mean, you *were* joking, right?

      • MrAlbum

        A game's business model is only one part of a game. The business model of this game is not as obtrusive as I thought it was going to be. The timers have not smacked me in the face yet, nor have I felt that the amount of premium currency I was earning via gameplay was unfair. When I played well, I was rewarded. When I played bad, I was rewarded less. Which makes sense.

        The graphics are very high-end, and are very well-rendered. The difficulty curve, however, is steep. Not impossible, but very hard if you don't know what you're doing (like I was). The game seriously needs advanced tutorials on how to play without the various driving assists (which I had disabled).

        And I had fun.

        Thus, a 4-star review sounds adequate.

      • Retero

        But you don't have (emphasis on have) to buy any thing, but you can if you don't want to wait.

  • jironamos

    4 stars for this shit?

    smells like a fake review

    come on TA

    • SmackDatButt

      It's not 'shit' but if you really feel that way, then you should leave. RR3 doesn't need players like you.

      The game is free. You're lucky you can have something that looks this good and is free of charge without any investment needed whatsoever.

      If you like it, good. If not, simply delete the game and download a NFS racer or another that suits your needs.

      People keep bending around the fact that it's really that simple.

      • Pray For Death

        It's not that 'simple'. People are pissed off because their favorite racing series was ruined. There aren't many quality racing series left on iOS.

      • Jay G

        And in another 5 years there will be so many franchises and sequels to those franchises that everyone will moan "ooo, not another racing game!"

      • Sunshine

        Err, I never get the "ruined the franchise" comments. RR1 and RR2 are still there. The games those people loved are still there. You can be disappointed that you're not getting another game like those, but you can't be angry that the old games are somehow ruined.

        To wit: Ultima 8 and Ultima 9 were ultimately disappointments for me, but they didn't ruin Ultima 4 and Ultima 7. U7 is still one of my all time favorite games.

      • Karzay

        Continuity matters to some people. They see the series as a whole and have a hard time separating them, even if they appear to be unrelated. It's just another way of thinking.

      • MrAlbum

        If you take this to its extreme, you get Tommy Westphall universe hypothesis.

    • Briony of Artifice

      I rarely agree with TA's ratings with the exception of Year Walk. That one deserved a 5/5.

      • IpadGamer

        Yes it did. That said, I'd be curious to know what other 5-star gems you've found that TA rated otherwise (or didn't rate at all)?

    • evilsearch

      EA paying for this shit so don't bother if you don't like it. 5stars from me for the graphics, and -5 for the IAP nonsense and timer.

      • MrAlbum

        And how do you know TA's been paid to review the game? If you don't know the truth, why spout something ignorant?

        Keep it honest in the comments, and maybe folks will actually give a crap about other opinions.

      • evilsearch

        and how do you know they hasn't?by telling i lied about my comment that means you know the truth?

      • MrAlbum

        I implied that you made an accusation without proof to back it up. If this was a court case, you'd get laughed out the building, because no proof means no one will believe you.

        I am not a TA staff member. I am not an employee at EA. I don't know what the truth is. When you make a statement on something and act like what you said is the truth, I have to ask myself: how would this guy know what the truth is? You never said HOW you claim to know that EA paid TA, and without proof from you showing that you are right, I cannot believe what you said.

        Hope that clears up my intent with my initial comment. Tl;dr is that you have not shown me that you are telling me the truth. Thus, I call bullshit on what you say.

    • tonyunreal

      Personally I think this is a quite fair review(and a surprise coming from Eli), for I hate all IAP barriers while still think EA and Firemonkey tuned the timers to be "fine" in the current build, and I would give RR3 a 4.5 out of 5. The timers can be annoying and become deal breakers for many, yet the game(in its current state) is quite enjoyable for the mass, including myself and all my social-gaming-hungry friends.

    • Stephen Staver

      Because you haven't tried it? Get off your high horse.

      • decabao

        After reading some of your comments I just have to ask: Are you mentally retarded Oo

  • Illuminerdy

    Eli is doing lines with those crisp EA bills. I'm being sarcastic, so don't upvote if you think he actually got paid off (because you're a $&#ing idiot).

  • themostunclean

    Even if you throw out the cool-down element (which is entirely possible if you know anything about your device settings) the game is still mediocre. Yes, it's beautiful but I personally prefer a racing game where I can let loose and not have to cringe every time I scrape my car. And the time-shift element is really not that fantastic, it still feels like your racing ghosts.

    I got this game in "New Zealand" last week and deleted it after 2 days. Then I promptly re-downloaded Asphalt 7 and NFSMW.

    All RR3 has is presentation. 5 stars for that, minus 4 for the rest.

    • err404

      Just because they both have cars doesn't mean you can compare RR3 to NFSMW. They are intentionally different approaches to a driving game. NFSMW is an arcade racer, while RR3 is trying to be more of a SIM (although it's still very arcade-ish). It is silly to call it bad for not being something it's not trying to be.
      That said, while I hate the IAP model, it still remains one of the best games on the platform. 4 stars is fair considering the IAP allows for a reasonably long amount of play and is far less frustrating then other free games. If they offered a one time premium IAP and fixed the AI, this would be one of the rare games that really deserves 5 stars.

      • themostunclean

        I made no comparison. RR3 was so restrictive just made me crave the freedom of the other games. Funny since NFSMW was the same development team.

        And by no means is RR3 a sim. Even with all auto controls turned off it still only offers the level of interaction and physics that's standard for arcade racers. You can't even shift. The maintenance system only serves one purpose- the freemium model, not simulation. Ultra realistic graphics do not make something a sim.

    • samp1800

      i have both thought asphalt 7 was pretty bad compared to RR3...

    • Chris Watkins

      One of my biggest complaints with this app is that, there is no career mode, no way to do practice laps, no way to do time trials, and no way to do qualifying laps, whereby allowing me to get a great position in the race, instead of ALWAYS starting at the very end of the lineup, in spot 22...and then trying to overtake all the other racers in a measly couple of laps, without it turning into a crash up derby.

      Personally, other than the graphics, Real Racing 2 is a FAR superior racing experience.

  • TheMountain

    Are you guys mad about it being freemium? Just don't buy the in app purchases and have EA lose money. Maybe they will make an in app purchase to get rid of the timers once they realize this was a dumb idea.

    • JPhilipp

      If you download this, it *will* make EA make more money, because it will rank them higher up in the app store charts, which in turn gives a lot of drive-by traffic from users... a portion of which will then invest in the IAPs.

      I'm steering clear of this game as I hate aggressive IAPs (even though, as a developer, I know exactly where they're coming from... my downloads always sank to near-zero when I made a title pre-paid).

      • MrAlbum

        I took a look at some numbers a couple weeks back. To be popular and successful (money-wise) is damn hard, but your chances are twice as good if your game is freemium. It's still around a 20% chance of success, but it is better than Premium's 11% chance, assuming all other factors are equal.

        And in all honesty, EA dominates the Paid charts. Last I checked, EA had 10-12 games on the Top Paid chart in the U.S., compared to 3 games they had on the Top Free charts.

        So EA actually champions of premium gaming, and are just now on the move into the freemium market, more or less. Probably because the company's about to slide down the toilet.

        EA's been losing money. They have been posting losses for the past few fiscal quarters. This move to freemium is an attempt to keep the company alive. Thus, I can hardly blame their business decision to change payment models. They're just trying to stay in business.

        Who wouldn't?

      • themostunclean

        Every video game company has been posting losses (which isn't really money lost but poorer than anticipated performance) for at least the last 5 quarters. It's the crud consumer economy, not bad business strategy.

        In average earnings they still out-net most others. A company in dire financial crisis does not go gobbling up studios left and right and release (on average) 2 ultra high-budget, high profile games every month.

      • MrAlbum

        Ah. Thanks for the explanation. "Losses" is "money EA expected to have, but didn't get."

        My point still stands that success chances are small on the App Store, and that EA has far more premium games on there than freemium games. And freemium gives you far better chances of monetary success than premium.

    • chimpman252

      Oh good, maybe we'll be lucky and get MORE iAP!

  • JosephmWood

    Completely agree with the review. The graphics are unreal and the gameplay is amazing. The waiting sucks but shouldnt drop it below a 4 star review. The other RR games got 5 stars so this is a step backwards for them. Good review.

  • Jay

    How is it on the iPod Touch 5? iPad 3?

    • Y.Badiner

      iPad 3 - graphics is okay, but fps is not good. iPhone 5 - all good, but display too small for me. iPad mini - graphics is okay, fps good, but resolution too low. I have no iPod Touch 5.

      • Jay

        Thank you!

    • Laurens Nash

      Please don't listen to the nonsense that the framerate on the iPad 3 is bad. The FPS is low-ish (but still very playable) in cockpit view, but other then that any other view makes the latest build run super fluid! Absolutely a blast to play on iPad 3.

      • Jay

        The cabin view is why I play RR. I suspect it has something to do with that fancy rear-view mirror, if it's only in the cabin view. I'll give it a try, thank you 🙂

  • raleid1

    This game is F*cking awsome!!

  • regkilla

    Out now in the US AppStore

  • Y.Badiner

    This game is okay. Graphics - cool, physics - good, controls - okay. Playing RR3 two weeks. Have 3 cars, 21 level, 103 coins, 158 069 money, without donate. Completed 47 of 961 races.

    This game not support iCloud - it's very bad. I want race on my iPhone at subway, and continue on my iPad at home. -1 stars for this. And I hate stupid cheaters, that's why sometimes I turning off Internet and playing with AI:)

    So, it's all okay for free game. It's best free game for me after Tiny Tower:)

    Game Center: Yuri Badiner.

    Sorry for my English.

  • Trysis3

    Mingore2 3.5 stars RR3 4 stars

  • MidianGTX

    The frame rate is also kinda choppy on the iPad 3. The device is barely one year old, this isn't ideal. Knock another star off for that, the real rating is 3* 🙂

    • Laurens Nash

      On the latest build, that has been reduced.
      The gameplay itself is totally fluid as butter when not using cockpit view.

      • jamespr

        Butter is not a fluid.

      • Mandi

        It is when it's melted. 😉

    • Laurens Nash

      Oh and for the record: I actually read an iPad 4 user complain about a dramatic drop in performance just the same when using cockpit mode versus any other view.
      Perhaps this is more of an optimization issue.

  • Decoy_Octopus

    Great game, Runs at 30 fps. Surely the iphone 5 can handle 60 fps

  • Brady

    I don't think real racers go around slamming their cars into other cars to win because yes, their cars get beat up and they have to pay and wait for repairs whenever they do things like that. RR3 lives up to its name a lot more than people expect. If you want an arcade racer, great! There are tons out there for you.

    As for the oddity where the paywall is more apparent early on because you feel the wait more until you get multiple cars, I think the idea is that if you shell out a little bit of cash you can get on your feet right away and that would be practically similar to having a premium game. Not many people are willing to see it that way, though.

  • thall72

    Years ago, when I first saw a ATM machine for the first time I was amazed at the concept. You could withdraw/deposit cash so easily. Now I have one in the palm of my hand and it says iPad on it. ANOTHER game ruined. SIGH.

  • riChchestMat

    The bit I don't understand about this review is, graphics aside, the Kiwis that have reviewed this on the forum say that the gameplay isn't that good. It seems that the gameplay is better on RR2. That is why I don't understand why this is a 4* game.

    • MrAlbum

      Forum impressions rarely inform a review. Reviews are often highly opinionated, which can skew the review one way or the other depending on what the reviewer thinks.

  • tarasis

    I'd probably have rated it a 2.5-3. There is a lot to like in the game but it is marred by the timer system, lack of iCloud saves, lack of AirPlay support compared to RR2 and lack of multiplayer like RR2.

  • Diga

    I definitely don't even try the game. I don't support iAP with paywalls.

  • captainugboots

    The TSM AI sucks. All it does is stick to the racing line even if this means bashing your car out of the way. This is not good design for something with "Real" in the title.
    The non-existent AI coupled with the pay structure boils this game down to a really good looking destruction derby with an ongoing subscription to pay for those who want to play for more then 20-30 minutes at a time.

    • MrAlbum

      But wouldn't a race car driver want to stay in the racing line, so that they can hopscotch their way to victory? I would. Doing "daredevil" stunts like drifting around corners is liable to get your car smashed. Any decent driver would play it as safe as possible, taking opportunities whenever possible.

      • captainugboots

        Yeah exactly but they don't, they bash into your car until you are out of the way and they can have the racing line back.
        I have this thing at home called a television on which I have seen professional racing car drivers going really fast and not hitting other cars, so I know what I am talking about.

        Fun game though.

        If it was called "Real Destruction Derby 3" I might have even thrown money at it.

      • MrAlbum

        So, watching NASCAR makes you qualified to say race car drivers do not make contact with each other when they drive?

        Forgive my skepticism, but it really spiked at that statement.

      • captainugboots

        Thanks for dropping Mr Album, you really are a good sport.
        Now if you don't mind, I'm off to play RDD3.


  • Connector

    Just wanted to say Eli, I read your review, and I thought it fair and well written. I agree with your review, and while I hate the wait timers and the "too high" inapps and would have liked a little better AI, nonetheless the racing, graphics, and content are top notch.

    So I agree, I too would give it a 4 out of 5 stars due to the above.

    • captainugboots

      I would have liked at least SOME AI.

      Good thing it is free because as far as being a "real" racing title it isn't worth anything.

      Apart from that, it is fun to play.

  • karma32

    I can't wait to download it. Just so I can give it a bad 1 star review. 🙂
    True story. Cool story. Bro

  • SpiceTheCat

    Well, 4.5 stars on the UK App Store, so I guess EA aren't going to be too unhappy despite all the Internet rage here. Lots of enthusiastic reviews, mostly by illiterate 11-year-olds admittedly, but still. Hmph. I'll be over here playing my £6.99 copy of the Battle of the Bulge, and hoping that Shenandoah don't install a tank repair wait timer, or extra troop micro-transactions. Kids, lawn, etc.

  • Psiufoxx

    Having fun these days creates so much rage. Sheesh people.

    • InfectiousRed

      Because not playing a game is fun? Yes... time walls... so, um... fun

  • Krautboy

    I didn't like it and not because of the IAP or timers. I had 5 cars in my garage when i deleted it. It was because there is absolutely no interaction on the track. The so called AI is pretty much absent. No slipstreaming. And framerate on Ipad 3 was horrible. Even if that was fixed it's still a horrible racing game. Then again Eli pointed out in the forums i'm not their target audience. I guess he's right,i love racing games too much.

  • ashwyn7

    Does the game look good on an iPhone 4S ??

    • Cpt.Badger

      It looks good but the framerate in cockpit view is absolutely unplayable.

  • regkilla

    Real Racing 3 looks stunning on my iPhone 5. I agree with the TouchArcade review 4/5.

  • Szabolcs Illés

    Two things I noticed after just 10-15 minutes with the game: even though at the first startup I chose not to let it send me push messages, I got a message that my car has been repaired. After I checked the iPad's settings, all notifications were on for the app.

    The second thing is, that I'm not convinced that this time shifted multiplayer thing isn't a load of bullshit. Just in the first elimination race I had no problem coming up from the rear, until only the top 3-4 drivers remained, when magically the competitors started to increase the gap for no reason at all.

    I do understand the financial aspect of this, but I don't like it. This is a big franchise, and they made two sequels, so presumably the pre-paid model wasn't a bust. EA just wants MORE money, and that's that.

    • JPhilipp

      An app should not be able to circumvent the push notifications settings -- its workings, and its wording, are fixed by Apple. Are you sure this is what happened?

      • makitango

        This happened to me as well, only that it was the game "Nutty Fluffies". It was three days ago and I sure as hell keep attention when it comes to denying access.
        Apple should look into that issue.

      • dancj

        I've had loads of games do that. It's really irritating.

      • DEFMAD

        Yea, tonnes of games do that to me when I've specifically said 'No'. I've deleted every one of them. Seems like another Apple bug that may never get fixed. Thanks Apple :/

  • androidislame

    It is pretty lol i can wait for timers i wont spend a dime... And while i wait ill play rr2 since i own it

  • Razvan Razy

    Still no cloud support...i'm very dissapointed. I won't give it another chance.

  • Akhmed

    This game sucks balls. I have an iPod 5 with A5 chip and the graphics of this game sucks on it and lags too. Fucking EA

  • worldcitizen1919

    Ok here's my take. First its a top premium game FREE. I was broke when it was released so I was happy that I could play for hours and eventually get 5 cars. Graphics and gameplay are 10/10 for me. And free made it even better. I got about R$240,000 with a few cars.

    I never felt FORCED to buy IAP. I drove well enough to keep getting placed and winning cash and gold levelling up even with all my service bars empty!! I got to about level 21 WITHOUT ever having been forced to stop the game due to repairs. I just used my other cars to race while repair jobs were ongoing and when I was due to sleep or take a long break THEN I'd do the lengthy servicing!!

    I felt SO GOOD about getting this stunning game for FREE and be able to use clever strategies such as having multiple cars to alternate between that I felt I WANTED to give something back to the developers and bought a couple of packs!!!

    It all depends on how good a driver you are and your driving strategies and whether you save for other cars whether or not you can just keep playing for free forever and you CAN!!! Also I drove quite s recklessly just driving my own same style. I didn't deliberately crash or avoid pushing other cars out of the way. I never played RR2 as much. This is the best a game can get for free if you're smart.

  • nonstickron

    This may be hard to comprehend...but I LIKE the timers. In my eyes it adds a layer of realism to what is a racing "simulator". The timers are short, and there's no reason to buy the IAP currency. So stop all the damn crying and GET A LIFE...get a JOB. If the timers are that much of an impedance to your enjoyment of what is obviously an awesome social racing game, then you really have too much free time on your hands.

    • chimpman252

      Oh and with the path GameLoft's been taking lately, let's hope their next freemium generic FPS makes you wait in hospitals for days to heal from wounds, and makes you sit for hours through helicopter rides, and make you die in only a couple hits, JUST LIKE REAL LIFE!!!!!

    • mudd

      I have a job, that's why I'd rather pay for the game upfront.

  • bigitec

    It's a free downloadable game. People who are never gonna spend money on it should give it five stars. But if you're planning on becoming a loyal gamer and don't mind paying a fitting price for a good gaming experience, RR3 will be disappointing and EA will live up to it's rip-offing name.

    IAP correctly (and not greedily) implemented should make a typical loyal gamer pay the amount of money he would pay for a paid game (and when it's that exceptionally good as RR3, let this amount be 10-20 bucks). The loyal paying gamer should then not be pissed on with an exploiting system like this, forcing him to wait instead of picking the game up and playing it WHENEVER he wishes.

    Earning more money by implementing extra IAP-based features for players who are ready to spend infinite money on a mobile game shouldn't be a problem and is done right by many other games - AAA like productions too (e.g. Infinity Blade 2).

  • Silvestar Atlija

    Oh Eli, you on that EA payroll 😛

  • buzzbydj

    Why does it say it will take up close to 3gb on your device when it clearly takes up 1.8gb, isnt that close to 2gb.

  • buzzbydj

    How does time shifted multiplayer work. I mean i always start from the back of the grid and so does everyone elce. Except when im racing them there miles infront already. And how come none of them ever corner cut? Even when i corner cut it dosnt show up on another persons tsm race. So how can they say its multiplayer. ISNT IT JUST AI CONTROLLED?? How is that multiplayer? Lies lies lies.

    • themostunclean

      You're right, it's not. Still just ghost racing with a little bad AI and a fancy marketing name splashed on it. I don't get how anyone who likes racing games can defend this one. They must be easily distracted by pretty things.

  • Fade to Slack

    Performance upgrades are on timers. They do NOT prevent you from racing.

  • blackbear219

    Glad to have this game on my phone. I used to be a hardcore gamer, but now? I've got kids, man. Those timers are nothing to me.

    There is more to life than complaining on a forum about freemium and harassing Eli.

    • timmfox


    • Karzay

      True, but commenting only takes a second or two and it's not at all life consuming. There's nothing wrong with expressing a difference of opinion. It should be encouraged.

      • MrAlbum

        I have spent over 2 hours on comments before.

        Some folks really take communicating what they think seriously, even if it's just a quick reply.

      • MrAlbum

        I have spent over 2 hours on comments before. I take communication seriously, even one-shots like replies take all my focus.

  • worldcitizen1919

    If you think this game is worth $10-$20 which I think is very fair then with the 5 cars you can get for free and another few cars you can play indefinitely. I've now got 9 cars. A couple of cars get repaired while I use my other 7 cars. Servicing can be done when you take a break or when you go to sleep.

    I'm really very happy with this game and have no problems with any pay walls.

    Absolutely LOVE the time shift concept.

  • Jet_Black

    There's a good game somewhere within Real Racing 3 - and there are plenty of free-to-play games that prove this model can work while respecting the player. Firemonkeys and EA have got that balance horribly, horribly wrong
    This was always going to be a tough game to review Eli but I feel you've been far too fair to what is essentially a slot machine & not a driving game. The free-to-play model EA have implemented is cynical, nasty and hard-wired into the very fabric of the game, making it totally unavoidable. Every part of Real Racing's make-up away from the track is a transaction where you're on the rough end of the deal. You're not even safe if you've driven a clean race, as each and every car is susceptible to everyday wear and tear that must be seen to in a service station. And it's here that the game's time-limitation mechanic is most rigorously enforced. If you need an oil change, or are after a new set of boots for your car, expect to be kept waiting for 30 minutes - unless, of course, you want to part with some in-game gold or a little of your own cash.

  • lordyokomoto

    Well for a change an EA buyout hasn't ruined a good game if you don't cout the freemuim bit...... Unlike mass effect, command and conquer etc etc

  • lordyokomoto

    Lol I just raced myself and lost

  • Furtin

    EUROGAMER has it right. I can not trust Toucharcade reviews anymore, scoring this broken concept 4 stars is hilarious. Thanks but no way I'm going to bring me in EA.

  • chanandler

    This is what I think about the game, agree or not with me, I don't care 😉

    OK I have played a bit, agree it looks gorgeous and plays sublimely. But after 30 mins I deleted it! Why? This whole IAP thing is starting to piss me off. Do these developers want me to play their game or not? If they do, then stop all this timer shit that stops me from playing! I don't have huge amounts of free time so when I do get a couple of hours to myself, I want to play with no restrictions other than my crappy skills! I would happily pay up to £10 for this game, as I have done in the past but without the freemium arse. These games are not console quality, this one essentially has you just tilting to go left and right. I hardly touched the brakes in 3 races and still came first every time. So when the freemium bits start to add up to PS3 and 360 game costs, then I can only think that greed is the driving force behind the sale of the game and they are just out to screw the players. Get a grip EA, sort it out and charge a reasonable amount for the game, make it so I can play for as long as I like, whenever I like and you will get a customer back. Rant over, peace and love to you all!

    • worldcitizen1919

      You don't service the car too quickly when you first start. Try to get another car then alternate them. After you get a few cars you can then do servicing while playing with your other cars. Initially I did exactly what you did. Played it a bit then deleted it. But I liked it so much I tried again and played for days and got 5 cars all for free. Very happy with this excellent title.

  • immaculatebastard

    First world problems is all you fucks are dealing with. Suck it princesses, no ones making you do a damned thing you don't want.

    • chanandler

      Ahh the joy of a healthy debate. Well written and enlightening comments that further the discussion. Thanks for your take on the subject, I am not entirely sure what 'First world problems is all you fucks are dealing with' means but I am sure it is relevant.

    • ikari_paul


  • Y.Badiner

    Hey, guys! Life too short to posting hundreds of comments about game. I like RR3, and I don't care about timers. I got 2-3 races per day and this enough, because I also have my job, girlfriend, family and friends. Why you debate it? It's just a game... And it's free... Download and try. Don't like RR3? So, delete it. Take a look around! Life is full interesting things.

    Good luck!

    Sorry for my English.

  • islesfan

    All we wanted was an option. Freemium or Premium. I'd likely have paid $9 for a game this good if I could own the full version. Forcing us all into the Lite version of such a heavily anticipated game seems idiotic!

  • 12yam

    So many spoilers in this review

  • Synx75

    So much nagging from ppl who just talk mostly but cant come up with a constructive solution or act in a cinstructive way so it might be better in future. I see mostly just childish irresponsible and destructive comments here...
    I like this game very much. Especially when i compare it to many other handheld touch-device games alike out there. Ths beats em all so far what I've played and experienced.
    The pay system is good. Why? Well if you developed a game and had your company you would want payment aswell so ypu could pay fairly to the developers of the game both in design and graphics and all. Why is EA so big as comny? Cause hey know developing costs money and they know bussiness.
    There is a saying "Only those who afford should play, rest can stay..." And i agree.. If you can't afford to support better games yet to be developed from already promising companies and designs,.. Then stay out of the game and stop nagging about it. You still can play for free,.. Not much to nag about then if you wanna something to be changed in future,.. Write a constructive well thought letter to the developers and explain why and what. They appreciate this kind of constructive response even if it would criticise the game, as long as it is creative and something to build on in the future developements and designs.

    I say...
    If you love racing games,.. This is defenetly worth downloading. You got nothing to loose, only to gain by trying this game out. I deeyed all other racing games from my iPad just since this beats em all at todays outbid of apps there...
    Sure some things can be even better like even more cars and weather conditions or some such. But for the graphcs and all those limits. This is really good!

  • Victor Geiger

    I can't make up my mind with RR3, iv had a lot of fun with it and spent no money so there is value there and i infact don't mind the in game timers and costs of repairs and things it really makes me feel immersed in the experience because instead of just race I now have to manage my time cars and money. What is not so great is the gameplay, AI opponents are acing line robots who will stick to the programmed racing line no matter what unless of coarse it is another AI in the way, but if it is the player they treat you as if you don't exsist, which is a design element I am forced to assume fire monkeys left that way to create more damage to player cars. Another thing, the time shifted multiplayer is bullsh*t, I went into a race my friend had a best time for, left the race as it started and yet even without interaction from me when I repeated this process I see that the time my AI friend gets differs by up to a second each time, this totally ruins the experience that I'm racing against my friend, it might as well be a just a sticker of my friend above the car because the time the AI gets differs so wildly from what my friend really got that it destroys any sence of competition, and again I assume fire monkeys knows this because there is no accessible leader board in the game displaying recorded times, u basically just have to trust that fire monkeys isn't lying to you, which I don't. One last gripe, in cup racing, 20+ cars to compete against. great! To try and win the race with minimal damage coupled with the horrible AI, impossibly stupid, I mean god in real life how often does a racer starting at the back of the grid climb to the lead in a couple laps, it's unheard of! All I ask is a qualification function for cup races, 1 lap to set a time to place you on the grid, hell even make it cost 500R$ so that unless you make a good time you have wasted that money, that would fit the FTP model quite well so I have no idea why they didn't include it. Other then all that I do really enjoy the game and recommend it to everyone since its free, just don't get caught up in the IAPness of the game and you will enjoy it very very much

  • Grim Joker

    The prices just suck. I see EA doing this a lot in the future. If they gonna start doing this, then i wanna c AAA premium games. I would gladly pay $10-15 for a full experience. Instead we get this system that is dangerous for those with a credit card on our iTunes.

    • Synx75

      A knife is and has been dangerous through out the history. A knife has been one of the most important tools in history aswell. My point is, some things are more useful than dangerous but there will always be ppl who can't handle it in a proper responsible manner. In this way, it is not the 'knifemakers' responsibility HOW you use it, but it is your responsibility to learn your kids the value of money, digital or real. Or maybe you are he kid who can't or haven't learned controll of spending money unwisely? :))

  • spazm

    What would you do if you had to choose between the following options? Unlock the Pagani Zonda R for $60 (400 gold coins) in RR3 or buy 3 quality console racers for the same amount of money which also allow you to race in a Pagani (and without grinding for coins)? That about sums up the madness of this freemium model for me...

  • worldcitizen1919

    I still can't see what the problem is with some people. You can play for FREE FOREVER. If you do some farming you can get a lot of cars including the best ones for FREE. Again what's wrong with this? So if you say get 5 cars you can play with some while repairing others. Again all for FREE if you don't want to put any $ into the game. Why the whining?

    How are you not getting your money's worth when its free? Pray tell. Everything is superb about this game - a hell of a lot to love. I'm not happy getting this game for free so I bought some packs just because I'm so impressed but I never felt I need to buy anything. I'm very happy with RR3 and highly recommend it.

  • M_thoroughbred

    After playing it I came to realize that the game is good. Once you get more then one car the game is pretty addicting and fun. Also this model makes you appreciate your accomplishments more then if the game was premium. Cause once you make enough money to purchase multiple cars you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you realize all the hard work that went into purchasing the car you wanted. It also makes you into a better player. You will find yourself trying to avoid collisions even if it costs you being in first place. Also you will learn how to manage your vehicles weather is repairs, tune ups, or upgrades. Is the game perfect? By no means it is but it still a good game and one of the best looking in any phone/tablet. Not everyone is going to like the freemium approach EA has taken but one thing we can all agree on is to disagree.

  • David Barkan

    I love the game, don't mind the timers or IAP... but I DO mind having to start in last place every time, and not being able to "time-trial" or freely test a track... c'mon guys, basics of a racing sim...

  • Cpt.Badger

    It would be nice if the review mentioned horrible cockpit view lag, which makes the game completely unplayable on anything but the latest iPhone 5.

  • Chris Grimmie

    Idk why but the game looks ugly on my iPod 5G
    It has very obvious jagged edges as if it was not optimized for the retina display O.o

    Or is it normal?
    If it is, then Angry Birds looks better than this cr4p lol

  • PadreTomasito

    Unbelievable graphics! Great game and very good model of playing.

  • Gamer_Kev

    As much as I like Toucharcade, I respectfully disagree with this review. The IAPs hurt this game on so many levels that it just doesn't seem to be much fun. While whales are sure to love it, for long time fans, there's a real feeling of betrayal of what the developers did to this game. Personally I decided to drown my sorrows by grabbing some games for my PS3. As much as I love my iPad and iPod Touch, mobile gaming is looking less appealing to me each time we lose a great IP or company to freemium model.

  • Matias Caceres

    When I'm playing Real Racing 3 and I lock my iPad 3 (iOS 5.1), it sometimes happens that when I unlock it, the screen starts to flicker... It's an odd issue and it doesn't happen always. Also, my iPad isn't hot at that moment, and it only happens with Real Racing 3.

  • Matias Caceres

    You wanted to play RR3 but you are soooo mad at EA for the iAP purchase method? Well, just play it and WAIT! Or download Free iAP from Cydia, at least to buy gold and skip the waiting times...

  • David Barkan

    I don't care about IAP, but why do I have start in last place every time??? it's stupid! plain stupid...

  • erNeto

    I love the game, I got multiple cars so I really don't have to wait a second, the only thing missing is iCloud sync.

  • Connector

    Join the Real Racing 3 Loserz Club

    President of the Real Racing 3 Loserz Club

  • WafaH

    how do you get the mirrors to be working on the cars ? using iphone4

  • bigjack66

    I've been playing this game for months now and haven't payed a penny. Sure timers are slightly annoying at the beginning bit buy a few cars and that's gone! I got over the problem by playing other games I had. No one else do that? If you give them money that's your fault for being stupid. I've got many of the top cars including the Veyron! Just play the game and have some patience. It's a fantastic game with incredible graphics and its free for gods sake. Play and stop whining!

  • bigrand1

    Fugetaboutit dis garbage!

  • Don Carroll

    I've been playing the game for quite a while. I have tried to contact EA GAMES/FIREMONKEYS about force closing and freezing issues along with a lot of people. No one ever replies or responds to reviews post on their game in the Google Play Store Does anyone have any ideas why after the latest update does the game report known issues? I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE

  • scottttttttt

    Played this game for over a year now. Spent more than my share of 'micro transactions' (whatever the heck that is) in real dollars. Been a loyal promoter of the game, but then a few weeks back, Firemonkeys changed the rules. There was a level that if you made it to, that you could actually accumulate enough gold to buy a top car or make a top upgrade...though still needed to play about an hour per 50 gold. Not an insignificant amount of time considering the car values I'm talking about are in the 400-900 gold coins and upgrades in the hundreds.

    Firemonkeys didn't like this new reality that THEY created and we played, so they cheated. Changed the rules in the middle of the game so it is now virtually impossible to get close to finishing the last few levels without spending hundreds of dollars in real money, or playing for hundreds of hours.

    So, quit while you are ahead. Enjoy the game up to the point where you need to spend only gold coins on cars or upgrades and then ditch it. Time to move on. You'll never complete it, so don't bother. Firemonkeys doesn't care about their customers, so this customer for one will avoid anything produced by Firemonkeys.

Real Racing 3 Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 4