Top 5 iPhone Racing Games

Posted: August 9, 2010 in iPhone/iPad/iPod
Tags: ,
Sorting through the zillions of apps on the App Store to find the best downloads for your iPhone or iPod Touch is time consuming and fraught with the risk of dropping good money on a bad purchase. Because even though most apps cost just a few dollars or Euros, that still was your hard-earned coin. So, IGN has started a series of Top 5s for various genres and categories in the App Store to help you make the best download decisions. If you’re new to the App Store, we hope to make the discovery of new apps and games more fun. And if you’ve had an iPhone for years, perhaps you’ll find something new. Because that’s what makes the App Store such an exciting place: there is always something new behind each click.
Thanks to the accelerometer, the iPhone is a virtual steering wheel. And right away, developers jumped on the racing game bandwagon. Many proceeded to drive said wagon into the ditch with banal racers that brought absolutely nothing fresh (or good) to the App Store. But over the last two years, a handful of racers have crossed the finish line in spectacular shape. Some entries in this top five rate high in the “duh factor,” like  Real Racing. But there are some alt-racers that deserve a victory lap, too.
Real Racing
Publisher: Firemint
Price : $4.99
Even after a year in the App Store, Firemint’s Real Racing remains the gold standard. It’s almost as if other developers looked at it, realized they didn’t have the chops to compete and abandoned any effort to out-do it. Real Racing scales up depending on your iPhone. 3G gamers get a great racer, but 3GS users enjoy smoother play. iPhone 4 owners, though, get incredible precision steering thanks to gyro controls and all new Retina display graphics. With excellent controls, smart tracks, a wonderful garage of cars, and online leagues, Real Racing offers months of replay. Though I rattle off the top five racers here, I wouldn’t blame you if you only downloaded Real Racing. It delivers.

Need For Speed Shift
Publisher : Electronic Arts
Price : $6.99
Need for Speed Shift is the great resurrection of EA’s previously skidding racing series. Shift for the iPhone retains much of what made it a best-seller on consoles. You have four tiers of balls-out racing events that reward both daring and determination. As you climb the ranks, you unlock new rides that make it racer to get first place in events that may have troubled you before. The car models are spectacular, especially when played in cockpit view. When I reviewed Shift last winter, I gave it a 9. Going back to it for this feature, I wonder if I didn’t underrate it a touch. It really is one of the great handheld racers on any go-go rig.

GT Racing Motor Academy
Publisher : Gameloft
Price : $4.99
In my review, I mention that you will never play Gran Turismo on your iPhone, so you might as well download Gameloft’s stab at a sim racer. That’s still very true. Though Gameloft made its bones in mobile racing with its arcade-style Asphalt series (which is very good, mind you), GT Racing shows that Gameloft can do nuance and subtlety when appropriate. This is not an over-the-top flash box. This is a serious racer with real world cars that behave as close to their counterparts as possible on the small screen. Dedication is rewarded with an ever-expanding garage. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a seriously attractive racer, too.

Cubed Rally Racer
Publisher : Jared Bailey
Price : $1.99
I mentioned earlier that some alt-racers will make this list. After all, the racing genre does not have to be strictly defined by conventions found in games such as Real Racing and Need for Speed. And besides, isometric racers like Cubed Rally Racing were once the bread-and-butter of arcade driving. Taking cues from classics like Championship Sprint and RC Pro-Am, Cubed Rally is a fast-paced racer across randomly generated tracks. No two games are alike as you fishtail around trees, fly over jumps, and pick up gas cans. This really is terrific fun, especially if you’re a retrohead like me that wistfully looks over his shoulder at the lost lessons of yesterday gaming.

Snail Mail
Publisher : Sandlot Games
Price : $1.99
Snail Mail popped up in our Best of 2008 awards. Prior to this list, I had not revisited this early App Store fave for some time. But as soon as I synched it back into my iPhone, I remembered precisely why I loved it so. Snail Mail is like drag race through the stars, gathering up packages on rollercoaster ribbons. You have to avoid salt, blast obstacles (you power up the cannon on your back through pick-ups), and sail across the finish line. This is a breezy arcade-style racer with excellent tilt steering. Packed with three different race modes – Postal, Challenge, and Time Trial – you’ll snag an easy five or so hours out of Snail Mail. Plus, it’s cute as all get-out.

Yeah, I didn’t pick any kart racers. There are some decent karters for the iPhone, such as Crash Bandicoot and  Shrek Kart, but none really leave much of an impression after you delete them from your phone. These five, though, are keepers. What are you keepers? Hit the comments and let everybody know what racers they should have on their iPhones.

(via ign)
  1. IP Camera says:

    Hi guy, It sounds really good!

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