569685_largerIn October 2011, iOS saw the release of Riptide GP [$0.99], a water racer with an emphasis on showmanship. Now a year and a half later developer Vector Unit has seen fit to release a sequel. Continuing with the same great gameplay, Riptide GP2 [$0.99] offers more vehicles, tracks, and an improved visual and physics system, making it simply a great sequel for fans looking for more.

If you played Riptide GP, this sequel will feel pretty familiar from a gameplay standpoint. Sure, there are new race types and a lot more races to compete and win in, but the actual racing itself remains the same. Thankfully, this means that the same responsive controls, fast gameplay and trick/boost system make a return. It's a good thing too, because GP2 doesn't mess around from a difficulty standpoint. Unlike other racing games that have a tendency to rubber-band the AI opponents to ensure every race is competitive, Riptide GP2 does a great job simply rewarding (or punishing) players for their skill and attributes, providing more of an incentive to improve one's entire skillset rather than just hanging around hoping for a random advantage.

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While there's a lot that GP2 (thankfully) preserves from its predecessor, the changes and improvements it does make are what keep it ahead of the pack. The inclusion of a deeper career mode is a godsend for replayability. In addition to earning money to upgrade and purchase new hydro jets, players also earn experience which eventually awards 'sp' with each level up. While money goes towards improving your raw racing statistics, sp is used to unlock new tricks or improve your driver's fundamental trick stats. It's a great system and offers some important decisions that should be made based on play style (i.e. emphasizing more boost per trick vice unlocking new tricks).

Other improvements such as a slew of new tracks, tricks and the inclusion of online multiplayer are more prerequisites in today's gaming world than groundbreaking additions. Still, I was pretty impressed with the tracks offered, as I found myself simply staring at the backdrops on occasion (a bad move while racing at fast speeds). While I would have preferred a more robust online multiplayer experience, I'd still rather have what GP2 offers than nothing at all. Meanwhile, the new tracks and mirroring techniques go a long way towards addressing the repetitiveness occasionally encountered in the first Riptide.

While the above are all great additions, special mention must be made of the game's excellent visuals and wave physics engine which I think are the key to the Riptide GP2's awesome look and feel. The game's graphics system has been taken up a notch in all departments, with the game looking great and running incredibly smooth on current iOS hardware. I also loved the improvements to the wave physics, which do a great job adding some variables to the core racing, giving players more to think about than simply racing as fast as you can to the finish (although that is still important).

Riptide GP was a great game for its time, but I feel that the improvements and additions made by Vector Unit have turned Riptide GP2 into a full-fledged excellent racing game. The career mode provides plenty of things to do both from a racing and career development standpoint, while online multiplayer acts as a decent supplement for racers wanting more. However, the improvements to visuals, physics, along with the improvements in track quality do a great job amplifying an already enjoyable experience. Racing fans (or fans of fun games in general) really need to check this one out.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • LOLCAT

    Yay! Thanks for the good review, now I can buy the game AND sleep soundly. I absolutely adored the first game, despite it's faults, and was thrilled to see a sequel out. Excuse me while I go buy it.

  • blizzardintexas

    Really appreciate this review. I never played the first one but this looks like a great starting point.

  • toxiccheese

    The first Riptide was never able to grab my attention and time for more than a day or two. This one, however, has been seeing a lot of play time. It is amazing how fun this is to play!

  • frankjonen

    Is the water still running uphill?

  • loophole

    This is a sweet game!

  • BulkSlash

    It really is a great game and the variety added by having stunt, elimination and time trial events to compliment the races really helps keep the game interesting. The music too deserves a mention for being really awesome. Learning all the new stunts is good fun as well. Oh and massive kudos to Vector Unit for implementing iCloud saving, I've been able to jump back and forth between my iPad 3 and iPhone 5 seamlessly.

    I only have one criticism and that is it seems impossible to get three stars in the stunt event "Countdown" on the Galaxy Cup. I've hit the level cap so I can't buy any more stunts and the time limit on that level means it's just not possible to score enough points before it ends.

    I've got three stars in every other event in the game and I've bought and maxed out the three top jet skis so far but no matter how many times I try I can't score over 1850 (the target is 1900). I think this is a case where the developers perhaps didn't realise it's possible to buy the "wrong" power-ups and not have enough top scoring stunts to beat the event in the time limit.

    • CRYSIS63

      what is the level cap amount?

      • BulkSlash

        Level 20 appears to be the highest you can reach in the game, with my XP stopped at 45,600. After that any XP you earn is discarded it seems.

  • tinkie277

    I loved the first one, anyone know if this one is controller compatible?

  • Harmoniamundi

    Love the game! I did find the stunt levels to be the hardest...I got three stars on every level, and the last two stunt events were the hardest. Use all of the tough stunts in your arsenal and avoid repeating the same stunt....it only decreases your score every time you perform the same one. Definitely get Mad Monkey for the big jumps...gives you 400 points!

  • (JailbreakQA) King Shoot

    The only thing i don't like in the game is that there are no secret passages that open,like in the first one.

Riptide GP2 Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4.5