Top down racing games are a perfect fit for the smaller touch screens of mobile devices, as the prioritisation for amusing arcade action over the meticulous and precise nature of more serious racing simulators suits the platform better in my opinion, and the success of games such as the Reckless Racing ($0.99) series emphasises how such titles can be a lot of fun to play. While, at first glance, Meizi Games’ latest release Built for Speed looks relatively derivative of other games within the genre, it looks like there is a lot to like about the upcoming top down racer, and some really interesting ideas that haven’t been seen in similar titles. With some colorful pixel art graphics, asynchronous online multiplayer, and even a really intuitive track creator, Built for Speed could be an essential racer on the App Store, and has soft launched in Canada, Finland, Brazil, India and The Philippines, so if you’re lucky enough to live in one of these regions, download it here.
One of the key mechanics in Built for Speed is that your vehicle automatically moves – you are solely in control of the steering of your car, so the cumbersome role of having to account for acceleration and breaking, and the screen real estate such buttons normally account for, has been removed. While this will take away some of the complexity of the game, it’s evident through the vibrant presentation that Built for Speed has tried to focus purely on one core element in steering, and from the trailer, the decision looks to have paid dividends. With asynchronous online racing (opponents from around the world act as ‘ghosts’, whereby you race against their quickest time) and a whole host of modern and classic cars to choose from, the competitive element of Built for Speed still appears to be intact, and trying to unlock all the vehicles should keep players busy for weeks.
The most interesting feature, however, is the track designer. Through a whole host of different pieces of road, from sharp corners to jumps and roundabouts, you’re able to place different parts of the track together on a 10×10 grid and make some really wacky courses. If the developers provide enough customisation options in terms of the environments available, the track designer of Built for Speed should serve as more than a distraction to the core gameplay, and has a lot of potential for expansion and development through updates and potential future DLC. I can’t wait to try it out, so if you’re in one of the aforementioned territories download it here and please let us know your thoughts on the game on our forum thread, and if you’re outside these countries, use our soft launch guide to give Built for Speed a test drive before its global release later this year.