I’ll hold my hands up and say that I didn’t spend a great deal of time with the first two Real Racing games. Long enough to realise that they were impressive, yes, but not quite enough to scribble several hundred words in their favour.
I’ve more than made up for it with Real Racing 3, with countless hours invested this week. Several hundred words be on their way below, but are they entirely favourable? Only my brain knows the answer to that.
Right, so, Real Racing 3. It features around thirty sets of events, each supporting 3-4 different models of car, and each hosting a ton of individual events. Seriously, there are over 900 in total.
Events include – among various others – bog standard races, eliminations (every 20 seconds the car in last place is disqualified), single laps where the aim is to set the highest top speed, and head-to-head races.
In any case, Real Racing 3 offers what Dealspwn’s Jon would enthusiastically describe as “visceral thrills”. While everything going on before and after the racing screams simulation, the action itself feels very arcade-like: fun, fast, and easy to get to grips with.
In terms of controls, Real Racing 3’s defaults are tilt to turn, with automatic acceleration and manual braking. You can switch acceleration to manual, too, if you fancy a bit more control, and there’s also the option to use touch instead of tilt.
In addition, there are three assists to make things a bit easier, namely traction control, and steering and break assist. Again, you might want to turn them off, if you’re hardcore.
With the default settings, pretty much anyone can pick up Real Racing 3 and win an event. It’s really just a case of following the race line.
Things get more complicated after the race, however, as that’s where we start getting into upgrades and repairs. The fancier the car, the more things there are to tailor, including engine, body, suspension and exhaust.
Incidentally, there are over 45 cars in Real Racing 3, and each race welcomes up to 22 (only four different models at any one time, right enough).
There are also several real-world tracks, including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone and Hockenheimring.
That all probably sounds pretty great; lots of cars, lots of events, lots of tracks, lots of upgrades… And it is. Until...
Where Real Racing 3 gets controversial is with its waiting times. See, as the game goes on, you’ll find yourself waiting upwards of 30 minutes for your repairs. Unless, that is, you're willing to pay GBP. Upgrades aren’t quite as essential, but repairs must be completed before you can use your car again.
I won’t dwell on that stuff too much here. There’s been plenty of moaning about it across t’interweb, but if you have a few other games on the go, you can dip in and out. And that’s all I’ll say for now (yes, you can smell a feature coming on).
Yeah, so, Real Racing 3 is pretty awesome as far as the racing and stuff goes. To what extent the freemium element ruins it is largely subjective.
Oh, and that’s me 500 words in, and I’ve failed to mention how incredible Real Racing 3 looks. Shame on me.
And! I almost forgot the Time Shifted Multiplayer, which throws your friends into races based on times they set previously. Great stuff. I think I’m done now. Am I? Brain? Yes.
- The visuals
- The sense of speed
- Over 45 real cars
- Several real tracks
- Over 900 events
- It’s free (kinda)
- The waiting times
Summary: Real Racing 3 is as good as touchscreen racing gets, but be prepared for those controversial waiting times.
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation), iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + 4G, iPad (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.