Category Archives: Racing

Pixelbite's fantastic drift-heavy, top-down racer Reckless Racing 3 [$2.99] has received a significant content update and is on sale for $2.99, down from its regular price of $4.99. The update adds support for Apple's Metal graphics API, and while Reckless Racing 3 was a very attractive game to begin with, there definitely seems to be a bump up in the lighting, shadows, smoke and other effects. This update also adds some classic levels from the original Reckless Racing, which is nice because the original appears to no longer be available. A new cup, additional arcade events, and a tweak to the difficulty in arcade mode round out the latest update...

It may be among the lowest hanging fruit of all when it comes to entertainment, but it's hard to deny the raw comedic appeal of monkeys. They're like little hairy people that we can teach amusing tricks to without feeling bad about it. They're also very useful for filling in gaps if you lack a charismatic actor or character. Generally, people like monkeys, unless they've known a real monkey, in which case, they probably hate monkeys. ..

'Proun+' Preview: The PC Tunnel Racer Finds a Home on Mobile

There are some games where the question has to be asked: why wasn't this on iOS sooner? Joost Van Dongen's Proun+ is one of those games. Releasing on November 27th for $3.99, ported by Engine Software, it's a game that really feels like it's finally home on iPhones and iPads. The PC version is remembered as a particularly notable entry in the tunnel racing genre, and it feels like it's reaching its intended destination on iOS, where games like Unpossible [$1.99] and Synesthetic [$2.99] have followed in its footsteps, wittingly or not...

Drift'n'Drive [$1.99] is quite the fun chaotic top-down racing game. I was intrigued by the game when I saw a GIF of it in action with a whopping 32-car field, and it looked like something I had to play. And it lived up to my expectations. It's very much an arcade-like experience. The cars auto-accelerate, and have tires with low grip, making them drift-happy, and providing for a very chaotic game. And the only controls are left and right to steer, with a turbo boost that charges up over time. Helping with the chaos is the fact that the courses are generated randomly in the career mode, so it's about reacting to what might be coming up next and trying to stay on the road. Grass and dirt slow the car down, hitting trees and walls causes damage to the car, and it's possible to lose a wheel, which makes steering more difficult, until both front wheels are gone, and the vehicle is just straight-up wrecked...

'Pixel Boat Rush' Review - Everybody Do The Wave

I've often felt that the genre that perhaps benefited the most from the jump from 2D to 3D was racing. Really thinking about it, racing is one of the genres that begged the most for polygons, having already spent years working in pseudo-3D with scaling sprites and optical tricks. Hardware that couldn't manage said tricks tended to have racers that skewed the perspective to at least offer some sort of visual depth. Racers that opted for a strict, flat side-view to the action were historically pretty rare outside of obstacle course time-attacks like Motocross Maniacs. There are lots of reasons as to why that was likely the case, but it mostly comes down to the simple idea that it's hard to express the excitement of racing from that point of view. If there is no depth, there's no passing, no hairpin turns, no drafting, and collisions become hard to sort out. You have to find other ways to bring the beautiful tension that makes racing so compelling, and that's just what Pixel Boat Rush [$1.99] sets out to do...

When I'm reviewing games, the hardest to evaluate tend to be the ones that hit their core gameplay well but provide a small amount of content. Usually, they promise more to come in updates, and Tail Drift [$1.99] is no different in that regard, but most people who have been gaming on mobiles for a while know that promise isn't always one a developer can keep, so you can't count on that. At the moment, Tail Drift is a sweet piece of cotton candy. You pop it in your mouth, get a momentary hit of pleasure, and before you know it, it has dissolved. I think at the price it goes for, that's not really a raw deal, but there are so many games on the App Store that will offer you bigger bang for your buck, especially in the highly-competitive racing genre...

Reckless Racing 3 [$2.99] delivers a style of racing that honestly is reckless, with the loose-controlling cars making perilous turns and drifting around, rubbing paint and just generally making a mess of the proceedings. This has been the series' modus operandi, and it does its job very well, at being a chaotic racing game that's easy to pick up but always hard to control, by design...

I don't mind free-to-play games, inherently. What I do mind are games whose monetization schemes are tilted against the player to the point that they severely impact the gamer. Thus we have Asphalt Overdrive [Free], a lane-based runner take on the venerable Asphalt racing series that's free-to-play, but definitely pay-to-progress, which is a shame, because it's good time when it's not trying to push upgrades or throwing in annoying wait timers...

'Battle Riders' Review - Wreck And Roll Racing

Once upon a time, there were shooting games and there were driving games. Two fine genres enjoyed by many gamers, young and old. Then, in the early 80s, in a move precedented only by the peanut butter-chocolate combination that was so delicious it kicked off the concept of democracy, the two ideas were finally brought together. It's hard to nail down who did it first, with it largely depending on how broad you go, but by the time the theme from Peter Gunn was pounding in your local arcade, there was no going back. We were driving cars, we were shooting at other cars, and it was pretty great. As a genre, its certainly had its ups and downs, but I don't think it's ever going to disappear entirely...

'Motorsport Manager' Review - Formula Racing for the Masses

When I sat down to try Motorsport Manager [$2.99], I thought it would be the perfect thing to poke at while listening to a podcast. After all, I wouldn’t be expected to drive the cars; I’d be running the biz and laying out the race strategy. A half-hour in, I realized I hadn’t absorbed a word, because I was so fully engaged in growing my fledgeling racing empire and watching my drivers tear up the track. It’s never overwhelming, nor is it too light to maintain interest. Motorsport Manager finds a nice spot in the complexity spectrum wherein it requires frequent decision-making, without ever inducing paralysis by presenting too many options simultaneously...

Gameloft's over-the-top arcade racer Asphalt 8 [Free] has just received a major update adding in a brand new track, some new vehicles, a new Season with 74 new events, and improved Twitch streaming integration. First off is the new track, set in the Middle Eastern city of Dubai. It features plenty of shiny skyscrapers, lots of interesting jumps, and no doubt some secret shortcuts to discover. Along with the new track are 5 new vehicles to race, including a Mercedes Benz Biome concept car and the Nissan GT-R NISMO. Here's a brand new trailer showing off the Dubai track and all the new cars...

This past December, Namco Bandai released Ridge Racer Slipstream [$2.99], a new mobile version of the long-running arcade racing series that culled together vehicles and tracks from previous Ridge Racer games. For the most part, the game was very good: it looked great visually, had a ton of single-player content, and most importantly it "felt" like a proper Ridge Racer game, something that was sorely missing from the series' last outing on iOS. The negative aspects of the game were mostly due to its pay model. Slipstream was a paid game, but featured the trappings of a free to play title, like two forms of in-game currency (but thankfully no timers). On the bright side, all content was obtainable without paying anything beyond the initial price, though some patience and some extreme racing skills were required. Overall though, we thought Ridge Racer Slipstream was pretty darn good...

With an isometric visual style vaguely reminiscent of Smash Cops, Pako - Car Chase Simulator [$0.99] gives off a pretty cool vibe of fast cars, hot action and hectic gameplay. For the most part, actually playing Pako lives up to those ideals as well. While the game itself is pretty basic, Pako offers enough in terms of variety and appeal to keep players coming back for more...

Back in May, a very interesting game was released for the iPad called SXPD: Extreme Pursuit Force [Free]. It aimed to blend digital comics with high-speed racing gameplay, and did so fairly successfully. It featured 6 chapters of comic storyline created by renowned comic artist Duke Mighten, with the combat-heavy racing portions being created by industry vet David Perry. The only problem was that SXPD was created for the iPad only, and that somewhat limited its audience. That all changes today though with a new update adding Universal support to SXPD. The initial download of the game has also been changed to free, and this seems to be a permanent change which offers the first chapter of the game for free with the 5 additional chapters unlocked permanently through a 99¢ IAP...

Crazy Taxi: City Rush [Free] is a test for those who play it. How much monetization needs to get in the way of a game that's ultimately pretty fun to harm it? Hardlight Studios, Sega's go-to for making IAP-laden mobile games, are going to hit a lot of breaking points with players who can't stand free-to-play monetization, because this game is full of enticements to spend money. But in my estimation, they can't ruin what makes Crazy Taxi [$4.99]as a gameplay concept great...

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