Real Racing in Review – A First Place Finish From The Folks At Firemint

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Firemint is an extremely successful development studio out of Austraila. Recently becoming popular among the iDevice crowd for their title Flight Control, they are definitely not new to the scene and have created games in all genres and across various platforms.

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With over 70 events using almost 50 cars, 12 tracks and 5 game modes, Real Racing is a big release by Firemint, and as their first driving simulator on Apple’s iDevice, a surprising success. Not sticking to a standard formula, they’ve tuned Real Racing to satisfy both the casual gamer as well as the racing addict. The graphics are amazing; cars look great up close, and from a distance; while driving, the scenery blurs by smoothly and the overall UI is crisp and eye catching. The only complaint that I have is that there isn’t any realistic damage. I know I banged the hell out of my car more than a few times and I think adding damage to the game would add a unique challenge to the game.

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As far as game play goes, there are 3 main single player methods of play as well as a couple multiplayer options. The first 2 game modes, more geared to that casual gamer are Quick Race and Time Trial. Quick Race is just that. Any cars and tracks that have been unlocked can be used to race. In Time Trial, you race a single lap trying to post your fastest time. After which you can post to an online leaderboard.

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Controls for the game are way more diverse that I thought they would be. The default view is the standard 3rd person view where you see the car in front of you and you control the car by tilting the device side to side and break by touching the screen. If thats not your preferred method of driving there are 4 additional variations of the control methods (my favorite being the cockpit view) which are available from the options page, along with brake assist (how much the game helps brake for you), and the sensitivity of the accelerometer.

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You can also control the audio settings from the options page. However, the biggest audio setting comes from the main screen. In the bottom corner you’ll notice a music note. Tapping that will bring up your ipod music folder. From there you can import as many (or all) the songs you want into the game. So not only can you drive the way you want, but you can load up your own soundtrack for the race.

Career Mode is where all the magic happens. Here is where you will unlock tracks and cars as you progress, making them available in the other game modes. There are four classes of car available, Hatch, Sedan, Muscle, and Exotic. In career you start with Hatch and as you race and win, you’ll unlock other classes and races. For each class you start off with the qualifier. After you qualify, you unlock new cars and the tournaments for that class. Within each of the tournaments there are also 3 difficulty divisions. So as you can see, there is definitely a lot of race time available.

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If you punch through to the end and you’re still looking for more racing action, then this game has you covered with both local (up to 6 over wifi), and online multiplayer. The online multiplayer version of the game is slightly different than one would expect. You compete in leagues (just like in the single player mode) that take place over multiple rounds. In each of the rounds, players have a set amount of time to post a time for a race. Each player competes and posts their best time. At the end of the alloted time, players are given points based on their race times. The one with the most points wins. The leagues themselves are arranged ladder style, where as you win more and more points, you move higher up the ladder. This can be quite fun as any seasoned “Ladder League” participant will tell you, but be sure to keep watch for your next posted race, because missing it likely means you’ll be moving back down the ladder fast.

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Keeping track of all this is Cloudcell (another Firemint creation). With this you are able to share/compare your scores with others everywhere. Visiting the Real Racing page at Cloudcell.com you can view who’s top ranked as well as league/leaderboard standings. I thought it would be cool enough to just be able to have your top scores posted online. That apparently wasn’t enough for the folks at Firemint. First off, if you’re a Facebook user (don’t act like you aren’t), you can install the Real Racing app to your profile and show everyone how you rank. After that, you can link your Cloudcell account to your Twitter account (again, don’t act like you don’t have one…lol) and it will post up your best times. Last but certainly not least: YouTube (huh?..what?). Using your YouTube account (If you don’t have a YouTube account create one, especially for this), Link your Cloudcell to your YouTube. Then, after you race a Time Trial or complete one of your online league races just hit Sync. After about a 10 minute delay the video will automatically be posted to both the YouTube site as well as on the Cloudcell site right beside your score. So people can not only see that amazing score you just posted, they can see how you pulled it off!

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In the end, I have to say I was quite surprised with this game. I am always cautious when presented with a game as much hyped as Real Racing, but I wasn’t let down at all. With amazing graphics, accurate movement controls, and the awesome-ly unique features of Cloudcell, this game has definitely earned a permanent spot on my phone.

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App Summary
Title:Real Racing (Version 1.10)Developer:Firemint
Price:$9.99App Size:69.1 MB
  • Amazing graphics
  • Challenging gameplay
  • Online multiplayer/leaderboards
  • Customised driving experience
  • No Realistic damage to cars

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