Well, this was unexpected. Out of absolutely nowhere, a new Ridge Racer game for mobile, titled Ridge Racer Draw & Drift, has soft launched onto the App Stores of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. However, as you may have guessed from the game’s title, this isn’t your standard arcade racing fare in the style of Real Racing 3 (Free) – in the newest Ridge Racer release on iPhone, you instead have to draw out the line your car will race on a 2D map of the track, and then control the drifting of the vehicle while it automatically drives around the track. While this interesting new mechanic may be the biggest new feature in the game, developers Bandai Namco have ensured that everything else you’d expect from the Ridge Racer series is present, such as stunning graphics, an exuberant electric soundtrack, and a whole host of cars that can be unlocked throughout the game.
While Ridge Racer Slipstream (Free), the last iteration of the series on mobile, was a far more traditional affair, Draw & Drift is hoping to distinguish itself from its older brother with its new, more mobile-oriented method of drifting, as well as the ability to play online against four real opponents, which is impressive for a free to play title. However, such a low cost of entry comes with it the inevitable abundance of in-app purchases, as a whole new card-game mechanic lets you upgrade and power-up your cars. Hopefully these aren’t too obtrusive, as Ridge Racer Draw & Drift looks like a really interesting take on racing games, while still retaining the glamour of the series. If you can’t wait to try out Draw & Drift, use our soft launch guide to download the game from overseas, or just get it straight from the App Store if you’re lucky enough to live in a region where it has already been released. Otherwise, keep an eye on our forum thread for the game for any first impressions, or for further news of its global launch.