Imagine your favorite racing game. Now imagine it on your iPhone. That’s Race illegal. It has all the elements that make racing games great: car customization, track choice, tough competition, and good control of your car. Its fast pace keeps you focused on the race and any cussing you might do is for your mistakes or against your opponent, but it won’t be aimed at the game design.
The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to control my car. Many racing games attempt to bring the joystick controls to the screen, with mixed results. Race illegal for iPad opted to go a different way. Your car just goes, and you steer it using your device’s accelerometer. This feels like a much more natural way to race. But don’t think that you have lost the ability to control you car. Simple taps on the screen give you brakes, nitro, reverse, different camera angles and track views, or you can get all the info off the screen and leave nothing between you and the road. But it’s really nice to play the game without having your thumbs attached to the screen.
The races and story line are in the best racing game tradition. It’s your clan against the other. You’ve got tasks to accomplish that send you careening around the city and countryside to prove your worth and stick it to the other guys. But once you get behind the wheel, all that matters is you and the road – and maybe an oncoming car or two.
As your scores improve, new tracks, cars, and other options become available to you. Some of the fun of racing games is in customizing your car, and Race illegal isn’t short in that department. Paint jobs, decals, high performance vehicles and options are all there to earn and choose from. And you can also share your accomplishments through Game Center achievements and leader board.
Upbeat technica music provides the backdrop and gets the blood pumping. The game is brightly colored, even in the night scenes, which makes it much easier to play in a variety of lighting conditions. The graphics are smooth and everything is easy to see and read. The information you need is clearly presented and located well to make the controls, the car, and the track easily visible. I had no desire to switch to an iPad to play just to make things easier to see/control.
Honestly? I suck at accelerometer games. Over-steering or extraneous motion always seems to keep my focus on simply controlling the vehicle. Race illegal managed to make that simple and allowed me to focus on beating the competition, increasing my speed, and earning points for drifting. Even when you crash or spin, you’re not spending a ton of time and effort getting righted. And it’s near impossible to get off-track. All of this keeps the emphasis on racing. And that’s where it should be to make the game fun to play.
Race illegal: High Speed 3D has an introductory price of $0.99. Get it at that price while you can, but if you miss the sale, this game is going to easily be worth full price. Race illegal could easily become your favorite iOS racing-style game.
- Good cars, good tracks, good competition
- Tight control of car, easy to steer
- Clean, focused interface keeps the emphasis on the race
- Lots of customization options available
- Not a one