Monday, November 8, 2010

App O' The Mornin': Reckless Racing Review

Grade: A
Price: $1

I waited to pick up Reckless Racing until the price dropped, and for a very good reason: I'm cheap. At $1, Reckless Racing is a steal, but even if the price goes up you should grab this one.

Even if you don't normally like racing games, you may well like Reckless Racing, since it's not your ordinary racer. The top-down perspective gives you a wide view of the track layout, which makes it almost like playing with slot car racers. I'm not a big fan of 3D racers, but there's almost a puzzle-like quality to top-down racers.

Visually, this is one of the best apps in the store. The races play out across detailed terrains with great lighting effects and animation. There are five tracks total, and each one has a reverse version that can be unlocked. It would have been nice to a see a little more diversity in the track style and layout, but that's a pretty small problem, and may well be rectified with updates.

The game allows for 3 kinds of control: standard (left, right, gas, and break buttons), tilt, and tank (autogas with left, right, and break buttons). All of them are responsive, and the game controls quite well. Is it a realistic racer? Great Uncle Jessie's Ghost, boy! What are you talking about? This is a Redneck Racing kind of game, channeling the spirit of Bo, Luke, and the General Lee. You drift around corners, spin through mud puddles, ram opponents into the river, hit randomly-placed ramps, and then move along.

The main game is a standard dirt rally against 5 other AI racers, who all seem to be on guide-rails. Or lithium. Or both. The hot lap mode is a nicely executed solo race that records each turn around the track and then lets you race against a ghost version of yourself. Delivery is a fun mini-game in which you pick up and drop off various objects around a track.

Even more impressive is the multiplayer, which has completely integrated internet matchmaking support. It only takes a few seconds to log in and start racing against other gamers.

The entire game is steeped in deep south cliches, and people who are offended by Southern stereotypes should probably give it a pass. The only thing it's missing is Boss Hogg and Cooter.

That's about the only caveat that I'd give with Reckless Racing. This is just a good little game, even for people who don't normally like racers.


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