Real Racing

Experience all of the excitement, competition and glory of championship racing. This is handheld racing like you've never seen before, in the most stunning, realistic and intuitive racer on iPhone and iPod touch. Get Real Racing today, and find out what everyone is raving about!
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    2009 Game of the Year (Editor’s Choice): Real Racing

    2009 was the best year for iPhone gaming so far. After getting started in July 2008 and pumping out hundreds of mediocre mobile and flash ports in six months, things could only get better. But a year ago we never would have expected to see the variety and quality of games that we see today. And for us, there was one game that was a harbinger of things to come: Real Racing.

    Released in June 2009, Real Racing was, and still is, shockingly attractive. It looked leaps and bounds better than the competition, even the previous racing graphics champ Need for Speed Undercover. And while newer racers like Need for Speed Shift are attempting to catch up, Real Racing still holds its own visually.

    The first time we saw Real Racing, we thought, this looks like a PSP game. And Sony had better watch out.

    The tilt controls were spot-on, mimicking the feeling of controlling a real steering wheel and offering numerous adjustments for casual players. Real Racing even let you automatically upload Youtube videos of your race, an unheard-of feature that we still think is very cool. This feature has been copied since, in games like Skater Nation, but Real Racing did it first.

    And then, over the months, Real Racing continued to expand. We saw hints of greater online play, and a free Volkswagon licensed version that took “freemium” and “ad-game” concepts to the next level.

    While there were many, many great games this year, Real Racing set the standard incredibly high. This gorgeous racing sim from an indie Australian developer named Firemint is one of the year’s greatest success stories.

    It’s hard to see the landmarks in this industry until we’ve already passed them, but looking back, one rises higher than the others. Whether you spring for the full version or just test-drive the free VW version, if you own an iPhone or an iPod Touch, you must play Real Racing to get a taste of what your handheld is capable of.

    More stories on Real Racing

    News

    Real Racing and Flight Control Updated for iPhone 4

    Firemint always seems to be ready for what’s next. Flight Control was one of the first high-quality games on the App Store when Apple opened the gates to developers. When the iPad came out, HD versions of both Flight Control and Real Racing were waiting for early adopters to buy. Now, with the release of iPhone 4 and iOS 4, they’ve updated the regular versions of Flight Control and Real Racing to take advantage of the new hardware and software.

    The first thing they’ve done is upgrade the graphics of both games to fit the micro-pixel display of the iPhone 4. Because we’re talking about pixel size, viewing screenshots on your computer won’t do the games justice, since most computer monitors have standard-sized pixels. In order to see the difference, you’ll have to look at the games on a screen with super-tiny pixels like, for instance, an iPhone 4.

    The updates also enable the big iOS 4 goody: multitasking. Now you won’t have to fear getting a phone call or text message when you’re on the last lap or nearing your high score, because the games will be able to freeze and slip into the background until you’re ready to play again.

    And if that’s not enough for you demanding gamers, Real Racing has been updated to take advantage of the ultra-sensitive gyroscope built into the iPhone 4.

    We’re looking forward to getting our hands on Apple’s latest device to see the differences these updates make. Will the graphics appear four times as smooth and pretty? Will the gyroscope functionality make the cars in Real Racing handle even better? There’s only one way to find out. Where’s that UPS guy, anyway?

    News

    Real Racing Updated With New Cars, Tunes, and Multiplayer

    We’ve learned from Aussie developer Firemint that Real Racing’s second update has rolled out to the App Store.

    The latest version packs such tune-ups as a new 10-track soundtrack (or the ability to make your own via iTunes, for 3.0 users), a jump from two-player to six-player WiFi multiplayer races, and an additional ‘Exotic’ class of cars to race. Read on for more details!

    When we say V12, we’re not talking about fancy vegetable juice.

    Here’s Firemint’s complete rundown on the update’s new features:

    • New vehicle class: Listen to the distinct roar of a V12 engine and experience unsurpassed speed and control with new exotic vehicles
    • Support for up to six players in local WiFi multiplayer (up from two players)
    • Select your favorite songs from your personal music library while racing (iPhone and iPod Touch OS 3.0)
    • Completely new game soundtrack with 10 original music tracks composed specifically for Real Racing
    • Even more content in Career Mode with an exotic vehicle qualifier and two new championships
    • New control method: touch-wheel-to-steer, manual accelerate and manual brake
    • Increased smoothing of the horizon tilt feature
    • Various improvements, bug fixes and OS 3.0 compatibility updates

    The update also allows players to adjust the level of AI collisions, patching up one of the very few problems we had with the game originally.

    All of these improvements simply make the best racing game on the iPhone–and our Game of the Month for June 2009–even better.

      Game of the Month, June 2009: Real Racing

      Building off the growing momentum, June was another stellar month for iPhone gaming. In June 2009 we flicked knights to their grisly doom in Knights Onrush, ran-and-jumped through whimsical worlds in Castle of Magic, and blew up enemy fighter jets online in F.A.S.T.

      However, we think June 2009 will mostly be remembered for one major game: Real Racing.

      This racing game comes in first for us.

      Simply put, Firemint’s Real Racing is the best-looking racer on the system by a mile. The jaw-dropping graphics make this a game you’ll want to show off to people as an example of what your iDevice can do. Just one look at this game in motion is enough to make anyone take the device seriously for gaming.

      Racing fans also know how important responsive controls can be to truly capture the feeling of tearing down the track. In addition to nailing the controls for advanced players, Real Racing is also basic enough for newcomers to grasp. An auto-braking ability lets those who are new behind the wheel practice their steering, and you can turn it off to crank up the difficulty.

      Plus with Cloudcell, Firemint’s online login service, Real Racing becomes a Youtube-generating behemoth with scores of leaderboards. As we pointed out in our review of Real Racing earlier this month, other racers on the iPhone don’t even come close to Real Racing’s first-place status.

      In addition, we want to recognize our runner-up for Game of the Month. It’s an in-depth, adventurous strategy game called California Gold Rush.

      Thar’s gold in them hills!

      In it, you play as Mandy, an expressive gold miner who must dig to the bottom of mines with dynamite and a pickaxe, uncovering veins of pure gold. As you dig further and explore, your stamina decreases, which is just one of the many elegant balancing acts this game pulls off so well. California Gold Rush is a stellar, addicting game and certainly deserves recognition alongside our overall winner.

      So, congratulations to our June 2009 Game of the Month, Real Racing, and runner-up California Gold Rush!

      Reviews

      Real Racing Review

      As ambitious as anything in the App Store, Real Racing kicks the powersliding trend to the curb and substitutes it for intelligent application of the gas and brakes. While driving on the racetrack, you’ll vie for the best lap times against both human and computer opponents.

      This game wouldn’t work without good controls, and we’re happy to report that Real Racing handles better than most iPhone racers, especially when driving in the immersive cockpit view. It can still be a little difficult to navigate corners, mostly because the margin of error here is so low, and a botched turn can send you into the dirt and out of contention.

      Who among us doesn’t love generic stock car racing?

      By default the game will brake and accelerate for you, and a slider bar allows you to wean yourself off of this help until you’re in full control of the car. The perspective will slightly shift as you tilt to steer, making it feel like you really are inside the car as you bounce and swing around corners.

      It’s great fun to blaze around the track on your own, shaving seconds off of your best lap time. Unfortunately, the time trial mode only allows you to do race one lap at a time, forcing you to restart the event for each successive lap. We wish you could race endlessly, with the game saving your overall best lap.

      Uploading lap times online is simple with Cloudcell integration (Firemint’s online login system), which tracks your stats and makes them accessible in-game or via a web browser. It will also automatically upload videos of your best lap times to Youtube, and dozens of leaderboards are available to see how you stack up worldwide.

      Plus, online racing leagues are offered, and you’ll have a set amount of time to race three tracks and post your best lap times for each. You’ll be ranked against others who have raced the same tracks, and although it’s not a real substitute for live online races, it’s a nice feature.

      In the career mode, you’ll race against computer opponents, and this is where things become frustrating. You’ll quickly notice that the opponents in Real Racing don’t like to play nice. In fact, they behave nothing like real racecar drivers, violently smashing you off the road every chance they get.

      Pick a lane!

      This isn’t so much of a problem on the first set of class C races, where your speed advantage can compensate for errors on the racetrack. But as you progress further and the margin for error gets smaller and smaller, you’ll realize that even with some of the best tilt controls on the iPhone, maintaining control of the car is frustrating when you’re getting rammed.

      Despite the limitations of career mode, racing fans will definitely take interest in Real Racing. The graphics are excellent for an iPhone game, and the sense of immersion in the cockpit view is incredible. 12 different tracks will give you plenty of courses to master, and they make up for the fact that there are only six unique cars to race in.

      At $10, Real Racing is expensive for an iPhone game, but it comes with a feature set and level of polish that is unmatched by other mobile titles. This could easily pass for a PSP game, and it puts DS racers to shame.

      Even high profile iPhone racers such as Need for Speed can’t compete with what Real Racing brings to the table. Local wifi multiplayer, track variety and the online feature set give you more to do in Real Racing than Need for Speed did, despite the lack of a storyline or licensed cars and tracks. Wifi racing is limited to two players, and while it dropped the connection multiple times during our testing, we suspect that had more to do with our router being on the fritz than the game itself.

      Casual gamers might be put off with Real Racing, as it isn’t the “tilt the phone to win” type of racing game that is so common to the platform. It’s difficult, and it will take dedication to succeed. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, we highly recommend you take it for a ride.

      Previews

      GDC 2009: Real Racing Hands-On

      We met up with Firemint’s Robert Murray and Alex Peters earlier today to go hands-on with the Aussie developer’s hotly anticipated Real Racing, which we’ve covered extensively on the site. Let us say this right off the bat: this superlative racer is going to set some new benchmarks for the genre when it comes out later in April.

      When we met with Murray and Peters, they were fresh off a big win for “Best Technical Achievement” at the IGF Mobile awards. It was richly deserved. Real Racing has been in development for a full year, and the level of technical prowess on display in this game is off the charts, from the core racing itself to its many connected features.

      There are four major game modes on offer in Real Racing. The Career mode is a standard one-player game where you race through nine championships across 12 tracks, over three car classes: hatchbacks, sedans, and muscle cars. There are also three racing divisions on top of that (A, B, and C). Murray explained that the car classes act as a difficulty gradient for the game’s controls, while the AI racers become more skilled as you move up in the divisions.

      After the Quick Race, there is also a Time Challenge mode, where you can compete for times on a global leaderboard, and can spit out your best laps directly to your YouTube account.

      Then there’s Connected mode, which introduces asynchronous league play. It works something like this. First, players join a Firemint-created online league. They are then required to race a certain number of laps within a deadline–say, four laps within 48 hours. They earn points depending on their performance, and their totals dictate whether they move up or down in the online divisional structure; it’s not unlike the European sports leagues that shuffle teams between upper and lower competitive tiers.

      Sounds cool, yeah? We haven’t even gotten to the racing yet. There are 36 unlockable cars in Real Racing, and although we only got to drive a single turbocharged hatchback during our preview, it was enough to see that the game has great physics.

      You can switch brake and acceleration assistance on and off to your liking; we had fun just steering the car around corners, as the AI smoothly braked to keep us on the right racing line. There’s plenty of visual feedback from the cockpit view, where the driver turns the wheel and shifts up and down. The camera also bobs slightly in the direction of the turn to heighten the sense of realistic motion.

      And man, is this game pretty. The frame rate’s great. The car models look fantastic, with a semi-reflective sheen in the paint jobs. There are neat lighting effects, like when you drive through a forest and light filters through the trees. And the sound is a huge asset. These engines give off a visceral roar–sweet music to the ears of car freaks–and the background is peppered with little noises, like the wind whistling across the hood and the clunk of the gearbox.

      There’s more we could say about Real Racing. We could go on about the multiple camera views, or the built-in Facebook functionality… but we’re just going to let our video do the talking, after we’re through editing it. Suffice it to say that Real Racing made a big impression on us, and we can’t wait to play the full game in about a month.

      Previews

      Real Racing First Look

      Aussie dev shop Firemint justed posted up a pre-Beta YouTube of its upcoming iPhone racer Real Racing… and it looks positively awesome!

      According to PocketGamer, Real Racing will have head-to-head Internet and WiFi multiplayer, as well as lots of community and league creation features. There will even be a social networking tie-in, in the form of an unspecified Facebook application.

      We have no information on when Real Racing is due out, or how much it will cost, but we’ll do some detective work and see what we can dig up. Between this and Need For Speed Undercover, it looks like the next generation of iPhone racing games may truly give the PSP and DS a run for their money.

      [from PocketGamer]