When I was a kid I loved RC cars. My cousin was a little more hardcore, and would order the various kits from catalogs and actually build his own, and while those were incredibly awesome they were also quite expensive. For me, I was usually content with just snatching up the pre-made Nikko RC cars from my local Toys R Us and zipping around my yard and neighborhood.
That’s what caught my eye about Nikko RC Racer from Paladin Studios, who you might remember as creators of the awesome Momonga Pinball Adventures ($1.99). This is an official Nikko-endorsed racing game featuring 10 actual RC cars from across the company’s 55 year history. The download itself is free and comes with 2 cars unlocked and 1 unlocked via “Liking" a Facebook page. The other 7 cars are 99¢ each to unlock or you can unlock the whole bundle for $2.99. You can also get a promo code to unlock cars by buying an actual Nikko RC car in real life, so there’s that too, I guess.
As for the game itself, it seems fun enough but it’s also pretty underwhelming. The visuals are bright and colorful, and the 9 different tracks all take place in neat environments and feature lots of neat design elements. It’s just that actually racing doesn’t feel all that special. There’s also no real cohesiveness as it’s just a series of single races without any sort of tournament or campaign to speak of. Just race a track, set a time, and that’s pretty much it.
You can connect with Facebook in order to save ghost data and race against friend ghosts, but I’m not crazy about using Facebook for gaming so I doubt I’ll bother. Thankfully there are Game Center leaderboards at least if you really want to compare track times, but this doesn’t appear to involve any sort of ghost racing which is a shame. Also, there aren’t any achievements, in case you were curious.
Nikko RC Racer definitely isn’t a bad game, but it didn’t bowl me over either. It’s obviously very well-crafted, but it feels like it lacks purpose. Even if I was willing to link up with Facebook I don’t think it would add all that much to the experience. At the very least it’s free to download and check out, so add it to your TA app (Free) Watch List to get an alert when it hits later tonight and see what people are saying about it in the forums.
International App Store Link: Nikko RC Racer, Free (Universal)