Low Grav Racer 2 is a bit puzzling to us. At its core, this is essentially the same racing game as the original released last year, but with more content. For some reason, even though the first LGR had huge glaring faults, Cobra Mobile hasn’t corrected any of the problems.
First and foremost, the controls are still almost comically sensitive. A full turn is executed by tilting your iDevice only a few degrees, and any type of precise movement is absolutely impossible. This makes trying to take a turn accurately an exercise in Zen-like concentration, and even skilled players will find themselves slamming into the walls dozens of times per race. For a system designed for portability, this game is just about impossible to play on the go. You’ll need to be completely stationary to race with any kind of effectiveness.
Is that anime destruction in the background?
There is an option to tone down the tilt sensitivity in the options menu, and only on the very lowest sensitivity is the control manageable. But even then, the imprecise steering will still send you into the walls far too often.
The lack of precise control might not have been as big of an issue were it not for the tragically short draw distance (how far in the distance the graphics render). The time between being able to see a turn and then having to make that turn is only a few seconds, making it extremely hard to react in time to make a good turn.
And forget adjusting your course to pick up power-ups. If you manage to get one of the power-ups strewn about the track you’ve either memorized the course, or you got lucky, neither of which makes for a particularly satisfying racing experience.
It’s a shame though, because with a few tweaks to this formula LGR2 could have been a really great racing game. The formula for success is there, and the flawed exterior belies a game with classic influences like Mario Kart and Wipeout. Arcade-styled racing games are a naturally fun genre, and LGR2 still has some good moments. It’s just that there are much better and more complete arcade racers to be found on the iPhone.
LGR2 is also clearly made with the same graphics engine that powered the last game a year ago. However, what was once gorgeous is now starting to look pretty dated. They’re not bad, but the poor graphical pop-in mixed with the stale course design make the whole package a bit weak. The stages are all very much alike except that sometimes they have a different color scheme, and one of them has a giant Gundam floating in the background for no discernible reason.
To top it all off, LGR2 just doesn’t have enough new content. As we said previously, all of the tracks look virtually identical, so even if there are new tracks, you probably won’t notice. This leaves only a few new cars and a Time Trials mode to separate this game from the original. Other racers regularly implement more new content than this in their free updates, so it’s hard to justify paying for a whole new game for this little bit of new content.
When you’re able to obtain a decent amount of control, Low Grav Racer 2 can be a little bit of fun. However, there are just too many obstacles to get over for us to be able to recommend this above other arcade racers on the iPhone.