Taking a dive into the world of racing simulation games, developer Firemint unleashes Real Racing into the App Store, much to the delight of racing fans everywhere. Priced free, some may show hesitance when dishing out that kind of dough for an iPhone/iPod Touch game. But let me assure you, this game goes a far way with Real Racing!
Immediately after opening Real Racing, you can tell the amount of hard work that was put into this game. A smooth transition from opening screen to main menu, and just another tap could get you started in the action. Career Mode, Quick Race, Time Trial, and Connected. Four ways to race, each one a blast.
Career mode lets you create your own persona, one that you can connect to a free Cloudcell account, which you can then use to upload race times and battle other Real Racing users! For each race or tournament you complete, you unlock new levels and cars. There are over 10 tournaments, each with multiple race tracks and unique settings.
Quick Race is rather self-explanatory, but I feel I should cover anyways. As you progress in Career mode, you unlock more tracks for Quick Race, thus making it more enjoyable. You also gain a wider variety of cars to pick from once career mode has unlocked them. Even if you decide to stay clear of career mode and just head straight into a quick race, the 2 levels and 2 cars available will keep you entertained, and definitely, motivate you to unlock the rest.
Time Trial is almost identical to Quick Race, except you are racing the clock instead of opponents to try and get the best time. This is great practice for the career mode, as you gain familiarity with the courses, and enhance your racing skills.
Connected is the coolest of the 4 modes, as this enables you to race against other real life gamers! You can compete both locally, a la the local wi-fi connection in the area, or you can battle it out against others in online leagues! While many games boast multiplayer functionality, Real Racing makes good on its promise with the actual online competitions.
The controls themselves are very straight forward and almost immediately picked up. The standard setting for the controls is auto-acceleration, and tap anywhere on the screen during a race to hit the brake. There is also the option to have brake assistance, which auto-brakes when a big turn comes up. You can alter the amount of help it gives you in the settings menu. One of the many features that impressed me about Real Racing, is the option you have to switch between 5 different control schemes. If you don’t like the auto acceleration, you can switch to having a brake and accelerator button on screen. Don’t like the steering by accelerometer? Switch to the steering wheel scheme. The game really covers every angle when thinking of all the potential ways to play the game.
The graphics for the game are absolutely stunning. Fully rendered cars with a full range of motion and even a decent physics engine are present, so you know when you hit another car and spin out of control. The locations and courses are beautifully done, and I caught myself several times admiring the scenery when I should have been paying attention to the road. The audio is also a great accomplishment, with realistic sound effects and a pumping soundtrack to get you pumped up for high-speed racing.
For unfamiliar users, a tutorial would be nice to add, and I was rather surprised to find that there was no tutorial present when I started up the career mode. But once the race began, I realized the controls were simplistic enough to forego the tutorial. But still, it would be nice just to acquaint users with the interface.
The sensitivity of the accelerometer controls can be adjusted via the setting menu, but I felt that even at the minimum setting, they still seemed very sensitive. Trying it on higher sensitivity was almost unmanageable. The scale seems a little off, but practice makes perfect!
A feature that would be a great addition to Real Racing would be the customization of cars. While this is more of an aesthetic function, it would give the game even more depth and involvement if the player could deck out their cars will cool new colors, rims, spoilers, and decals. Maybe have rewards for beating certain time trials or other modes of racing be new tires that have better traction or a new engine that boosts speed.
Overall, Real Racing for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a spectacular game that blew all my standards away. While I am not the biggest racing simulation fan out there, this game still managed to get me hooked. A combination of smooth gameplay, realistic audio, and enough features to make some console games blush, Real Racing would be my choice for Mobile Racing Game of the Year.
1. Having a hard time adjusting to the standard controls? Head on over to the options menu to switch between 5 different control styles to see which one fits you best.
2. Pay attention to the display to the left of your car. Every few seconds it updates with the time difference between you and the leader. If you are the leader, it lets you know how many seconds back the next car is. Definitely comes in handy when deciding whether to attempt a sharp turn or not.
I would recommend Real Racing to players young and old who want to enjoy an engrossing racing simulation with hours upon hours of content, and great online gameplay! If you can get past the price, which you definitely should for Real Racing, it is worth every penny!