Version Reviewed: 1.0
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Touch Racing Nitro is a unique, top-down racer where users race one of twelve RC cars around 18 different tracks (which are progressively un-locked over the course of game play). It’s uniqueness stems from it’s control scheme: Players use one finger to manipulate the car around its tracks. Think of the donkey-and-a-carrot-stick adage: Your car is the donkey and your finger is the carrot dangling from the stick and both are connected by an elastic band. And these cars REALLY want that carrot.
Touch Racing Nitro features the following:
Touch Racing Nitro’s graphics are colorful and appealing
and provide players with a 3D racing environment. The game sports a funky, post-70’s music intro which takes a progressive, club-like feel once the race starts. The game’s sound effects are relegated to the car’s engine (acceleration/ deceleration) and nitro boosts. There are no crashing effects while hitting other cars and walls, which I guess is appropriate, since we’re dealing with RC cars.
The game’s polarizing control scheme (I’ve found users either love it or hate it) is what really sets it apart from other racers. Players use their finger to control their racer’s movement around the tracks. Simply touching the screen will cause your car to chase your fingertip; moving your finger further away from the car to accelerate or closer to it to slow down. Think of an imaginary elastic band attached from your fingertip to your car and you’ll get a good idea of how the car moves. To use nitros, which are laid out on tracks as power ups, players simply tap the screen with any other finger while driving. If players become disoriented, discombobulated or turned the wrong way, they can double tap a reset icon located in the top center of the screen’s display to reset their racer.
Playing this game using this particular control scheme is satisfying and fun: The level of control you have over your racer is greater than any other game I’ve played thus far. At first, I was having a problem using only one finger, as it kept getting in my way as I moved my car around the track; I found my finger fumbling over itself to manage the car from opposite sides of the track. However, I quickly adopted a two finger approach that works very well and I found myself smoothly transitioning from one finger to the next, on opposite sides of the screen, to control my racer to victory.
Again, the controls are very responsive and take some getting used to, but once you practice enough, using the games’ built-in tutorial, you’ll be careening around the corners of tracks and manipulating your car past the game’s AI cars to claim 1st place. Be warned, though, if you don’t practice and learn how to control your car properly, your races will consist of your racer simply bouncing, flying, overrunning and running into walls, obstacles and other racers. Players have A LOT of control over their racers, but for those who don’t properly learn the techniques, racing on the tracks will be an exercise in futility and frustration. Conversely, those who master the controls will love racing on the game’s well-developed tracks.
As mentioned earlier, Touch Racing Nitro has two modes: Tournament and Time Trial. There are 18 tracks total and players must beat each circuit in order to unlock the next. Tournament Mode consists of three different levels, Beginner, Driver and Ace. Time trial tracks your best time and allows players to race against their virtual selves, to beat their previous record. The game’s tracks feature the usual suspects of jumps and obstacles.
The primary race screen shows the player’s position in the top left corner and the lap number and time in the upper right corner. The top center of the screen houses a reset button which, when double tapped, centers racers back on the track after going off course, etc. (a much-needed feature, at first). The bottom right of the screen lists the number of nitro boosts available and the pause button is in the lower left corner.
During game play, I did experience some lag/frame-rate issues, by they didn’t happen often and quickly went away. Also, the game does appear somewhat shallow/lacking, as it doesn’t offer many standard options/features found in similar games, such as the ability to restart a particular track within a circuit without having to go back through all the tracks, achievements, global scoreboard, etc.
Overall, I really enjoy playing Touch Racing Nitro. The level of control I have over my racer provides a certain degree of addictive game play and keeps me wanting to play more. The graphics and sound are both well done and integrate nicely into game play. At $3.99, however, Touch Racing Nitro is pricey, especially considering most, if not all, games similar to it cost much less, i.e. .99. There are simply too many great .99 games available in the app store to justify this game’s high price tag (that’s not to say it’s not worth it). I would like to see a lite version of this game. That said, if you’re a rich control freak and love top-down racers, you’ll want to buy this game, otherwise I’d suggest waiting to see if the price drops before scooping it up.