I feel bad for dissing Racer. Partly because I picked it up for free a while ago, and partly because – despite being a bit rubbish – it exudes an odd charm.
In Racer, you drive along a six-lane highway, with the aim of avoiding other cars. Simple. And that is really all there is to it. Slide your car left and right with the touchscreen and try not to crash.
There are four different game modes in Racer. I’ll hand you over to Tatem for a fantastic breakdown (no pun intended) of each.
NORMAL Classic dodging game mode. Check your reaction, drive as you can never do on a real highway…
HARD Same rules, dense traffic, higher speed! Game mode for the real dodgers!
SLALOM Gather stars on the road and get more points for that. Extreme driving is guaranteed!
CAREER Gather a certain number of stars per stage and progress in career to unlock new cool cars to drive!
See what I mean about that charm? And when you run out of lives, Racer explains: “You failed all attempts! You need to concentrate! Go ahead!” Brilliant.
Charm aside, Racer really hurt my finger. In order to avoid obscuring the screen, I had to hold my hand at a strange angle. And the action is relentlessly fast, so there’s not much time to rest your weary digit.
The sound, too, is completely awful. The car sounds like it’s ascending through an unlimited set of gears. Unlock a new vehicle, and you get a slightly different engine sound. Fortunately, there’s an in-game button to toggle the sound on and off.
On the plus side, you can import music from your iPod library. Choose a suitably rockin’ soundtrack, and the game instantly becomes infinitely more enjoyable.
Racer is mostly quite fair. On very rare occasions, you’ll find yourself heading for an unavoidable crash, but the majority of the time it’s a pure reaction test.
- Charmingly bad
- Import your own driving music
- A fairly pure test of reaction
- That engine sound
- Ultimately quite shallow
- Sore finger
Summary: Racer is far from terrible, but it’s not great either. It’s tough to recommend at 59p; for the same price you could pick up, say, Need For Speed: Shift. If money’s not an issue, by all means give it a go.
Developer: Tatem Games
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: 59p @ App Store