Developer: Cie Games Inc
Price: Free
Version: 1.2.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It is hard to deny that racing games have come into their own on iOS. The platform seems a perfect fit for the high speed antics of burning around a digital track. Where proper racing games seem to be able to do no wrong its genre cousin, drag racing, hasn’t gotten nearly as much love. Cie Games are hoping to rectify this by burning a little rubber in their new title Racing Rivals. Can it prove that speed takes precedent over control, or will its singular focus prove too channeled to expand beyond a niche audience?

IMG_0441Pulses are pumping. The sounds of engines revving tear recklessly through the night air. The bell sounds. And they’re off! This high octane backdrop of underground street racing helps set the stage for Racing Rivals. Players take control of a driver on the rise, trying to prove their mettle against hoards of grizzled veterans of the backstreets. Can they prove themselves up to the task? The only way to know is shift like lives hang in the balance.

Don’t care for steering? This might be just what the doctor ordered. All that needs to be known is how to shift at the right time and how to rev an engine properly, pre-race. As long as that isn’t too complex to comprehend, players will find plenty to enjoy in this simplistic game of call and response. Just remember to press “+” when the light RPM turns green. Sounds simple enough, as long as one isn’t colorblind.

IMG_0437The meat of the game itself actually resides in the tweaking of a vehicle’s internal mechanics. Gearheads will undoubtedly geek out at the ability to purchase new components that will directly improve a car’s performance. Money can actually be earned through successfully winning single player races, or wagering earnings against random strangers online. Both prove to be fun variations on an otherwise extremely rudimentary game design. Luckily, this turns out to be a case where less may very well be more.

Without ever needing to spend a dime, Racing Rivals proves to be a simplistic street racing simulator that makes a discernible effort to only draw inside the lines. Its core suite of features boast nothing overwhelming or groundbreaking, but still shows the refinement that is possible when online multiplayer is done right. Gearheads should give it a peek and see if it helps satiate their inner need for speed. It sure beats the cost of a tank of fuel.


Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , ,