Art of Rally review
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Art of Rally review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on January 25th, 2024
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: CAR COMPROMISE
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This stylish rally racer has a hard time keeping pace with its mobile peers.

Developer: Funselektor Labs

Price: $4.99
Version: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPad Pro

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

It's easy for me to forget, but the App Store--surprisingly--is home to a solid collection of good-to-great rally-based racing games. So, when a new challenger enters the ring, they really ought to bring their best. Unfortunately for Art of Rally, its visual style and relative newness are the only things that are really going for it when weighed against the competition.

Stylish sliding

Art of Rally makes a striking first impression. This low-poly racing game puts its obsession with the sport of rally on full display, both by offering a ton of historical context around the sport from the jump and also opening the game with a giant golden statue rising out of the ground, instructing a rally car to be come a master of the art of the most dangerous version of the sport that exists in the in-game universe.

From there, the world of Art of Rally opens up to you where you can free roam, play a career mode, take on daily or weekly challenges, and more. No matter which mode you are in, the game looks extremely cool due to its minimalistic styling and terrific environment design. I do sort of wish more goofiness carried on past the game intro, though. After the statue first appears, most everything else fails to rise to that level of whimsy.

Plodding performance

As stylish as Art of Rally is, there are also times where this mobile version doesn't let it shine the way it should. I don't want to even pretend to know how games are made or how technically demanding it is to serve up this game's low-poly aesthetic, but Art of Rally certainly seems like the kind of title that should be capable of running smooth and sharp on an iPad Pro, though--for any number of reasons--it simply doesn't.

I have managed to tweak the game's many graphical settings to allow my racing to proceed at a (mostly) smooth 60 frames per second, but it comes at the cost of many visual effects and quality settings being disabled or lowered significantly. Even in this state, there are times where Art of Rally may chug or hang a bit, which is both disappointing but also disruptive to what is meant to be a game about smoothly sliding around all manner of corners and obstacles as quickly as possible.

Mobile misfire

Even when Art of Rally is firing on all cylinders, it just has a hard time keeping up with the competition. Its racing model feels good, but only if you play it with a controller. Its modes and course design are solid, but all of them are better replicated in a much more stable and robust game (with better control options, I might add) called Rush Rally 3.

In being a port, I also don't really see why anyone would want to pick this version up compared to the other platforms you could be playing it on. As far as I can tell, Art of Rally runs better on those, and there isn't anything unique added to this iOS version to make it especially mobile-friendly. It's just a significantly compromised version of what is probably otherwise a fine racing game.

The bottom line

If this mobile version of Art of Rally ran a little smoother and perhaps offered up more than familiar racing with a fresh coat of paint, then it would be worth celebrating. As it stands, this game might be a worthy pickup for a mobile-first rally racing nut who's already played the other offerings to death, but probably not anyone else.

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