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It Came From Canada, Singapore Edition: F1 Race Stars, Where Karts Meet Formula 1 Drivers

Posted by Carter Dotson on January 16th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Codemasters is the developer of numerous Formula 1 games, but what they’re looking to put out on mobile with F1 Race Stars is something of an entirely different beast. Currently soft-launched in Singapore, even it couldn’t escape the clutches of 148Apps’ global reach. This is It Came From Canada: Singapore Edition!

F1 games are usually known for being intense simulations, but if F1 Race Stars is real, I need to pay more attention to F1. In reality, this is a kart racer, one very similar to the recent Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in style and in gameplay: there’s of course power-ups to use for boosts and taking out other racers, but there’s also a heavy emphasis on drifting to develop a turbo meter. Maintain drifts for a long amount of time and longer boosts can be had. Catching airtime will also increase the drift meter. Each game has a very similar heart.

While Danica Patrick in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed was a very strange addition, having this be an F1 game means that actual racers, none of whom I have any knowledge of because I’m an American and we prefer stock cars to drift leftward, are playable. Each driver has their own Sessions energy bar that depletes with each race, so like Angry Birds Go, switching racers can be used to extend play sessions.

As I use an HDMI output device to capture game footage, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the game is TV-ready: it supports widescreen output on TVs, and the game’s controls are built to not require looking at the screen in order to play. TV support is something of a lost feature, and I’m interested to see it added in here. There’s real-time multiplayer available as well, but just as a local mode, not online.

While there’s the standard two-tier currency system - with coins used to buy boosts, and gems for more permanent features like perks and new driver unlocks - there’s one particular way that coins are used that is interesting. See, there are coin gates while racing that grant power-ups right away. These naturally grant an advantage that costs currency, but it’s also possible to accidentally trigger them. Then again, boosts are what the coins are there for. Still, seeing this as a potentially-accidental feature is odd.

F1 Race Stars feels very polished, like it’s just undergoing monetization testing to see if the business model is working, along with the last checks before they’re ready to race around the world. Whether this kart racer can stand out among the others out there will be seen when it rolls out worldwide.

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on January 3rd, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: MORE RINGS
A great racing game, damaged by a business model more fitting of a free-to-play game than a $4.99 one.
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Garfield Kart Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on November 14th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: UNREMARKABLE RACING
Garfield Kart doesn't exactly put a paw wrong, it just lacks anything to make it stand out from the crowd.
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Doodle Kart Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Fanguy on March 30th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DOODLES OF FUN
Doodle Kart is a very solid, well-developed, doodle-inspired top-down kart racer whose clever, visual aesthetic, combined with excellent, precision game play elements/mechanics provide a complimentary game play environment that will not only immerse its p
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Cocoto Kart Online

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Will on October 14th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: NOT QUITE
Cocoto Kart Online holds potential with a great online component, but it falls apart due to ghastly controls.
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Krazy Kart Racing

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chris Hall on September 9th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ABOVE AVERAGE
Krazy Kart racing is a full featured kart game in the Mario Kart mold, but it doens't quite have the heart and soul to make it a must buy app.
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