Rally Master Pro 3D in Review – the fight of the navigator

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Fishlabs have pulled out all the stops with Rally Master Pro 3D (RMP), a realistic, and edgy racer. Forget what you have learned in hitherto pedal-to-the-metal driving sims like Asphalt 5 and Need for Speed Undercover – RMP starts with speed and adds a dash of “watch out!” for a difficult, but brilliant racing concoction . No fly-by-wire steering system, no easy to drive cars, and absolutely no hand-holding…

Praise can come in all forms and so when I say that I’ve been cursing more in the last two hours more than I have in the last 3 months, you should perk up. Rally Master Pro 3D is hard, very hard. Where other games are frustrating for 3 minutes, this game will steam you for hours. Particularly, the over-active damage engine. Every little nipple in the road contributes to your car’s destruction and in turn, drops the performance of your car, but keeps the senses perked. Over-active? yes. But, with a little work, this race engine could be nearly perfect.

lost my lid!

lost my lid!

There are no power-ups and no crazy wind/speed effects; there are no hyped announcements and absolutely no gear-grinding; in a staid course, Rally Master Pro retains as much driving realism as it can muster in an action-race game while producing among the the best-looking graphics among App Store race games. From lens-flair to rain and tyre-dust clouds, RMP has special effects down and accounted for. Copy and paste the last sentence for sound effects too: even from the speakers of my iPod touch, I could hear the telltale signs of tiny stones ricocheting off its underbelly. The music too has been wisely chosen and doesn’t interfere with the game at all (which is a good thing as you _cannot_ import music from iTunes). Then there is the weather and backdrops which are a similar flavour of OMG! The only thing I can fathom a complaint against is the navigator who, at the best of times warns you “hard right”, or “constriction”, and who in the heat of passion will ask you out for a drink.

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There are three game modes: Career, Time Trial, and Adrenaline, each of which offer loads of “fun”, and each of which will have you cursing. Career is the main portion of the game which will unlock all the others. Time trial should need little explanation, but Adrenaline, antithesis to its name is the slowest, most methodical mode where you accumulate as little damage to the car as possible. RMP also stuffs three control modes under the bonnet: accelerometer, analogue, and digital. I chose the latter version because it was easiest, most reliable method of control on the game’s many tight roads.

Rally Master is hard because it isn’t a typical race game; it is hard because it strives for a semblance of realism; and it is hard because your fingers/wrists will cramp up whilst navigating the serene locals. You are the only car on the road in this game, and as such you compete against timed your opponent, or in the case of Time Trial, against the clock. Like other race games, you will unlock more and better cars as you progress, and finishing one leg will open up the next. But, what really sets this game apart — barring of course, your lone position on the road — is the above-mentioned body damage which degrades performance.

Unfortunately, your pit team are a bunch of drop-outs who like a late-night Taco Bell staff, doggedly tinker at your machine, probably spitting in the tail pipe. “If you want something done right…”. FISHLABS have gone out of their way to make everything difficult to the gaming novice and the mini-fixit games are no exception. From pumping tyres, to connecting cables, you will be hard-pressed to keep up with the clock. Assuming you do, however, your car will be restored to 100%, but the opposite can also be true. Fortunately, you can bone up on the mini games from the menu.

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So, apart from the great physics, frustratingly fun game play, smashing graphics, and brilliant racing, is there anything left to say? Not really. FISHLABS have nailed a great driving engine, low-key sfx and hot graphics. Rally Master Pro 3D is a fun, yet frustrating racing title. They may need to tone down the damage engine (which accumulates nicks and scrapes faster than the polished steel back of an iPod touch) and toss in more variation to individual levels. Still, FISHLABS have thrust the App Store race genre into the mosh pit with this exciting race title which will long be remembered as a benchmark for the genre.

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App Summary
Title:Rally Master Pro 3DDeveloper:FISHLABS GmbH Germany
Reviewed Ver:1.10Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$4.99App Size:31.7 MB
  • Best-of graphics and sound effects
  • Fun racing engine
  • Realistic course condition and weather physics
  • Touchy damage engine
  • need more track variety to break tech-demo feel

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