The App Store is the ideal place for simple games that pack a lot of fun, and Skid Racer is a prime example. All you do in the game is drive around a handful of tracks, running your computer opponents into corners and picking up speed powerups to reach the finish line before they do. Anyone can start up the game and know instantly how to play it, but enough skill is required to keep both casual and hardcore gamers coming back for more.
Viewing the action from a top-down perspective, you control a tiny car using an onscreen analog stick and a brake pedal. All you have to do is outdrive your three opponents as you make four laps around each track. Finishing in third place is all you have to do to progress, but nabbing first or second lets you upgrade your car between races.
It’s called the mud loop.
Three parts of your car can be juiced up: your transmission, which controls how fast you accelerate; your engine, responsible for your speed; and your tires, which give your car traction. Winning the race lets you spend two upgrade points, while coming in second gives you one. Every point you spend results in a noticeable difference the next time you drive, making you feel rewarded as you play. If you finish in first for every race, you’ll have a maxed out car by the last race.
There are three circuits, each one more difficult than the last. Unfortunately, the circuits only contain three tracks apiece. To complete a circuit, you have to place in each track driving one way, and then again driving the opposite direction, for a total of six races. It would have been nice if the developer had included six separate tracks per circuit, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Another thing that could use improvement is the save feature. The only time the game makes a save is between circuits. If you close the app or get a phone call during a play session, you have to start over, even if you were on your sixth race. Also, the D-pad gave us occasional issues, though these became less frequent the more we played. On the plus side, the camera follows your car well enough that your view is never blocked by your thumb, something we greatly appreciate after playing some games where that’s a problem.
Skid Racer has its faults, but it’s definitely worth the dollar it costs. If you don’t believe us, download the free version first. Either way, we bet you’ll have fun and end up hoping for more tracks, just like us.