Developer: Electronic Arts

Price: $2.99
Version: 1.1.5
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½
Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Reckless Racing is the kind of game that makes you feel like a kid again, pure and simple. There is just something that is hard to put your finger on that takes you back to a time when classic coin-ops like Off Road were all the rage. Sure, it may be done up in a prettier package that is more appealing to this generation of gamer, but this is reminiscent of a simpler time when games were allowed to be both kooky and fun, all at the same time.

As opposed to many developers looking to take full advantage of the retina display and planting players in the cockpit of a vehicle, Reckless Racing quickly establishes a nostalgic feel by utilizing a third person camera. This is not to say that the visuals are anything less than smooth as silk, however. The cars are fairly well detailed against a strongly contrasting color palette used for the courses, resulting in vehicles looking very sharp on-screen.

The stellar appearance is complemented well by a solid track design that once again harkens back to the days of Off Road. Chaotic twists and turns will leave players reeling their first time through a course, but with practice, the limited track list will become second nature to navigate. Utilizing a wide variety of course layouts and locations, you could find yourself doing anything from bogging through a backwater mud pit to a hybrid on-road/off-road race.

What makes this feel the most like it is from a purer time in gaming are the controls. With five different setups to tickle your fancy, ranging from a standard steering wheel to tilt controls, players are bound to find a scheme that best fits their play style. In no time they will be pulling hairpin turns and leaving the competition in the dust. A solid frame rate helps to make the usually temperamental touch screen controls seen precise and impressively responsive. This is what racing should feel like on an iOS device.

If there is one thing that Reckless Racing has in spades, it is personality. From the moment that you hear the soundtrack strike the first chord on banjo, you get the feeling that if you traveled any further south you could marry a sibling. Featuring a wide range of vehicles including a muscle car, tractor trailer, and even a dune buggy, players will feel right at home with the good ‘ol boys. Just be sure not to cause too much damage while you are breaking in the track. It would be unfortunate to have to have to outrun Boss Hogg again.

EA has done a solid job in assuring that Reckless Racing oozes with southern charm, while still delivering a solid, well-polished racing experience. You don’t even have to be a racing fan to enjoy a game like this. All you will need is a pulse and a competitive spirit. So buckle in, you could be in for one heck of a bumpy ride.

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