Review: Reckless Racing 2 – Pocket Racing at Its Finest

Review: Reckless Racing 2 – Pocket Racing at Its Finest

Arcade racing has come a long way from the days of Pole Position. We’ve come all the way from the “one car fits all, spin your wheel thru the hairpin turn” experience of old, to the “customize your car to fit the next racing environment, don’t over compensate by tilting your device too much as you go into that turn” racing we now enjoy on our iOS devices.

Reckless Racing 2, the sequel to the popular “Reckless Racing” tries to improve upon the original while keeping the sense of challenge and fun #1 had. It succeeds.

Overview

The Reckless Racing 2 App Store page tells us:

Strap down and prepare for the ride of your life… Reckless Racing is back with more!
Including a selection of 18 highly detailed cars, ranging from small dirt buggies to fast supercars, and 24 routes in a variety of flavors make this a racer for all tastes – both dirt and tarmac.

Compete in the Career mode to earn money for new cars and car upgrades. Have a quick race in the Arcade mode with 40 pre-defined challenges. Compete against your friends on the leaderboards in Single Event mode – including Race, Hot Lap and Elimination events.

Tune your car in the garage to match your driving style with a vast selection of parts and upgrades. Whether you are a reckless power slider or a slick race driver, make your car the way YOU want it.

* Probably the best power slides in the world
* Tune and tweak the performance, handling, tires, rims and colors of your cars
* Shader based game engine with normal maps, reflections, specularity, shadows, particles and more
* Improved and optimized shaders for iPad 2 and iPhone 4S
* Online leaderboards with downloadable ghost cars
* Online multiplayer over the Internet
* 17 characters, including your favorites from Reckless Racing 1
* 5 control layouts with customizable button positions
* Optional assists, such as race lines, mini map, chase camera and more

There are multiple ways to enjoy the game, Career, arcade, single event, and multiplayer. I found my favorite to be career mode. To me, this is the core of the game. In career mode, you go from raw rookie, to world champion by winning a variety of races and challenges along the way. Each race you finish, and every challenge you complete gives you more cash to use to upgrade your current car, or purchase a new one.

Controls in the race are easily adapted to your preference. Steering can be accomplished in a variety of way, tilting the device, on-screen arrows, or half and full on-screen steering wheel. I found the half wheel to my liking. I generally prefer titling or turning the device to steer in most racing games, but for some reason in this game I found myself overcompensating and watching my car either do a 180, and wind up driving the wrong way, or watching helplessly as my car tumbled off of a cliff to crash on the rocks below.

In-game assists are another set of options the gamer can play with to his/her liking. You can turn on a “racing line” that shows you the most efficient racing path around the course. A mini-map can also be used to show you the upcoming portion of the track.

The races are quickly started, and almost as quickly over. Most only lasting a few minutes. This is one feature I like in a racing game, especially one on an iOS device. Racing games that go on for numerous laps just lead to boredom. I have put down quite a few racing games on my Xbox 360 simply because they become interminable “turn left a thousand times” marathons.

As well as Career mode, Arcade mode lets the player earn more cash to spend on upgrading their car, or you compete in single events to try to increase your available cash. Multiplayer allows you to compete online against other human racers.

The graphics in Reckless Racing 2 rival those of most other racing games I’ve seen on iOS, and on many PSP racing games. The game ran very smoothly on my iPhone 4S, with only a few stutters here and there on my original iPad. The experience was more enjoyable on the iPhone, mainly because I got a little tired of wrestling the weight of the iPad. (To be fair, I do have an Otterbox case on my iPad, which definitely contributes to the bulkiness of the device. Using the on-screen arrows or steering wheel make the game more enjoyable in this case.)

Verdict

Reckless Racing is a fine addition to the gallery of racing games available for iOS devices. The graphics are great, the playability and ease of “jumping right into” a game in Arcade mode makes it a great choice for a quick 10 minute gaming session on a work break, and Career mode allows for a marathon gaming session later that evening.

If you are a racing game fan, and especially if you enjoyed the original Reckless Racing, grab this game, there are no black flags here, just clean and green all the way!

Price: $4.99 (Universal App, App Store Link)

Rating: 4/5[rating:4]

Pros

  • Easy to learn how to play the game. Jump right in, or take the time to customize the experience.
  • Multiple levels of challenge.
  • The racing is over before it becomes boring. The events are short and engaging.
  • The graphics are detailed and smooth on my iPhone 4S.

Cons

  • The graphics could be smoother on my original iPad, but after all, that device is almost 2 generations old.
  • I found the tilt steering to be too touchy.

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