RPM: Gymkhana Racing Review

For the uninformed, gymkhana is a kind of motorsport that involves (pardon the complex technical terms) a whole lotta sliding ’round, and obstacle-dodging. BulkyPix’s RPM: Gymkhana Racing for iOS reveals half its nature in its title, but beware the term “Racing,” as the game doesn’t feature car racing in the traditional sense of the term. Casual fans of car games won’t get anything out of this stunt-heavy title. On the other hand, anyone who admires the art of drifting will have a good time, and can be excused for spontaneously yelling out “ZOOM!” and making screeching noises while playing.

RPM: Gymkhana offers up multiple obstacle courses across multiple cities, including Tokyo, Dubai, and New York. Each course has a goal that must be completed within a time limit. Some of these are rather unorthodox, and involve stunts like turning on disco lights, pushing around balloons, or “painting” a course by driving over paint spills and splashing them up against walls. Regardless of a course’s individual goal, your general goal remains the same throughout every course and city: Rack up a cool score by dodging objects and drifting around corners like a pro. The better you do at a course, and the more points you score, the more stars you earn. Stars unlock new cities.

A quick way to wear out your tires.

To revisit an important point, Gymkhana Racing isn’t about tapping arrows to make cars go fast. It’s about mad drifting and stunts, and is meant to appeal to a niche audience. The game tries its hardest to please that niche, and for the most part, it succeeds. Its courses are fun to navigate, it boasts some very pretty graphics, and its soundtrack has some thumpin’ good tunes. However, its controls are quite slippery, and take a lot of getting used to.

It’s to be expected: a game based around drifting can’t prosper if the cars handle like station wagons. Gymkhana Racing does have multiple control options, and if you’re having trouble, try switching out the arrow controls for the far more intuitive steering wheel. You can also lower the touch screen’s sensitivity.

However you approach Gymkhana Racing, though, you have to be willing to put in the practice and patience necessary to succeed, or you won’t get very far. If you’re looking for a car-based game that comes with easy starts and instant rewards, you’re better off looking through the App Store’s massive library of racing titles. But if you’re enthusiastic about the very notion of a gymkhana game on the iOS, RPM: Gymkhana Racing is solidly-built and is just aching for the chance to slide off into the sunset with you.

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