Horror Racing in Review – Off Road Racing For Ghoulish Gear Heads!

horror-racing-review1A number of apps have arrived for the coming Halloween season. Half of them are nothing special, just one-off holiday gambles, but the other half contains a mixture of apps that are good for a few laughs, until the holiday passes, or in the case of the latest app from Chillingo and NEWFX, all of the above and a little extra.

Horror Racing is a spookily themed arcade-style racing game which is Jam-packed with all sorts of weapons, power-ups and upgrades. There is also a goodly number of spooky, creepy drivers who add to the addictive and engaging game play of a themed racer to racing genre.

Horror Racing’s game menu graphics are really rough (in a good way): a lot of grey and red which really bring out the spooky, bloody “horror” theme. Images are faded in the background with strong bright red text out front and are equally as terrifying in a stalker sort of way. Rough and clean, but easy to read and navigate, Horror Racing is an excellent benchmark for themed games.

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Each of the cars are unique, almost like something out of an old Mad Max movie. You have a handful of drivers to choose from, and each one of them has been drawn well that its too bad you don’t see them in-game. The only non-themed spot is the help section. Sure, the section is nice and legible, but jeez, it would nice to spread the themes around a little more.

Horror Racing is simple to pick up. It’s even easy to get really good at it. Finding the perfect blend of maneuvers to get you through each race is the tricky part. Your car is controlled via the steering wheel on the right hand side of the screen. There is no accelerator to bother about, you just steer like the old arcade game, Super Offroad (minus the gas pedal of course). This control method means you will have to get comfortable swiping your finger to spin the wheel around trying to maneuver tight corners and sharp u turns.

Review-Game-horrorRacing-03On the left side of the screen are controls for your 3 weapons: machine guns, rockets and mines. Using these you can demolish your demonic opponents and clear a path for you to victory. Along the way, you can pick up ammo and health power ups to repair your own car from the onslaught that your opponents bring.

Another interesting addition to the game are what they have called “runes” which similar to something you would find in an rpg, upgrade your car with special abilities. For example there is a rune that engulfs your car in flames, allowing you to burn your opponents, and another which gives you the ability to shoot bolts of lightning at nearby cars. There is even a quad-damage rune! The balance of runes and weapons is great: just because you have all the power ups doesn’t necessarily mean you will win.

Review-Game-horrorRacing-04There are 3 game modes available. First off is quick play, for when you just want to get to racing. The second is skirmish, where it’s all about dishing out damage and chaos. Lastly, is Championship series which will keep you busy.

Here you have 3 stages to play through with multiple races available in each. Like most championship type modes, you earn money based on how you do and in between races, you can use that money to upgrade your engine, weapons and armour. Skirmish and Quick Play are great, but I would have enjoyed Championship mode better if it was broken down into sections, spread out a bit more. 3 stages isn’t enough for me. Maybe breaking it up into blocks of races based on the type of track, or having multiple series that all lead to a final race would be good ideas.

Review-Game-horrorRacing-07Sadly, there is no online play, an item which would have made up for the too-short Championship mode.

Overall I do feel this game was a great change from the “normal” lot of racing games available at the app store. The horror theme makes it a fun title to play with Halloween creeping up, but should have lasting appeal even when all the ghouls and ghosts return to the grave. Aside from coming up a bit short in game length, I still heartily recommend Horror Racing to fans of the genre.

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App Summary
Title:Horror Racing (v1.0)Developer:Published by Chillingo & developed by NEWFX
Price:$2.99App Size:28.6Mb
  • Excellent arcade style controls
  • Lots of in-game action
  • Great visuals
  • High replay value
  • Championship series a little thin
  • No online play
  • No online scores/leader board

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