HTR High Tech Racing [rating: 3/5]
A Strong Addition to the Slot Car Genre with a Couple of Large Ommisions
When I got my first iPod Touch some years ago, one of the first games I purchased for it was a game called Slotz Racer by Freeverse, Inc. which is a slot car racing simulator game that I was addicted to as a child and was excited to play in the electronic form.
Well now there is a new kid on the block in the form of High Tech Racing from Graffiti Entertainment. Just like Slotz Racer, High Tech Racing offers slot car racing over multiple tracks with multiple difficulty levels and a track editor that allows you to build your own creative tracks including loops, chicanes and crossovers.
Let’s start with the racing which is where any player will spend most of their time. There are three difficulty levels to choose between as you begin and playing through all of them I would have to say that while Novice is relatively easy to complete the Advanced and Pro levels will provide a real challenge requiring multiple replays to move through the different tracks.
As you complete each of the difficulty levels you will unlock additional cars and parts so before moving to the next set of tracks remember to change and upgrade your car via your garage.
The garage system is relatively basic where you can scroll through the available cars and see their respective stats and also scroll though the engines, tires and chassis that you have unlocked and also see the corresponding affect that they have on your acceleration, top speed and grip.
Before each race the layout of the track is displayed on the screen to give you a taste of what to expect. There’s no ability to zoom in or rotate the track manually though as you preview it but it does help especially to warn you of jumps, loops and other obstacles that are on the track.
Controlling your slot car is via a scroll bar on the right side of the screen, push up to apply power and slide back to reduce power. Just like real slot car racing it’s all about speed control, head into a corner too fast and you’ll find your car flipping out of its slot, accelerate too fast out of a corner and the same will happen.
The car control physics are pretty realistic down to the fact that at some points the car will jump out of its slot for no apparent reason which is both realistic and frustrating! You can also race the game from three different views. Top was my view of choice which sets the view just behind your slot car. Racer gives you a first person perspective view of the race while Perspec looks the best as it pans around the table as if taken from a helicopter it’s not practicle if you plan on winning and completing the game.
Winning a race will unlock the next race in the set and at the end of each level you’ll be able to submit you time to the online leader boards to compare your times with other players around the world. Unfortunately the only option to view your best scores is via the website so if you wish to compare your times you have to leave the app and re-launch it later.
There are a good range of tracks each with a good range of obstacles to challenge even the best slots car racer. The tracks are well presented but are rather bland in their design with little variety outside of the course design themselves.
Playing through all other 18 tracks across the 3 difficulty levels will keep you occupied for a little while and even once that’s completed you’ll be able to set about building your own.
The track builder is pretty easy to use. Available pieces are presented via a scroll bar on the left of the screen and the highlighted piece will be place on the end of the track each time you hit the build button. Again with a large amount of realism the difficulty in the track builder just like in real life, is joining the track together at the end. While you can save and play any track regardless of whether you have joined the two ends together to complete a loop if you haven’t joined them the race will be pretty short as your slot cars career off the end of the track. It would be nice if it was possible to auto-complete the track where the application would join the two ends of the track together for you.
While the track editor is fun and offers limitless track opportunities the inability to share your tracks with other players and subsequently import other players tracks limits its ultimate appeal.
There is also no multi-player option, neither locally or online, which again limits the long term appeal of High Tech Racing.
The price point of $2.99 suggests a high quality game with many options however it never really reaches those heights and ultimately left me feeling a little short-changed. If some of HTR’s failings are addressed in future updates especially a multi-player option and the ability to share tracks High Tech Racing could be a fun and challenging addition to your game collection on your iPhone/iPod Touch.
- Good range of tracks
- Track editor
- Unlockable and upgradeable cars
- No multi-player
- No ability to share tracks
- Cars leave track for no apparent reason
Price: $2.99 (iTunes Store)
Released: Jun 24, 2010
Size: 34.5 MB
Seller: Signature Devices, Inc
© Graffiti Entertainment
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.