I’m by no means a car junkie. I know enough to get in trouble and do basic repairs. But I love racing games, anything that lets me drift / powerslide or drag race as in this case. So were going to take a look at one of the prettiest iOS racers around, CSR Racing for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
CSR has five main tiers of play. The first screenshot after the break represents the five racing groups you need to defeat as you progress through the game. Each tier has five members. As you defeat a member the next member unlocks for you to defeat and increases with difficulty every step you take upwards.
CSR starts you out with $35,000 to spend on a car and upgrades. I half expected to see a handful of cars I’ve never heard of before, like a “Furraree” or a “Geeho Metric” from this free title, but CSR sports real licensed cars from ten manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Dodge, and Audi, each having a good number of models.
I decided to get the game rolling with a Focus and slapped some white paint on it (which is free to change at any time). Of course the first thing I wanted to do was head to the customization options to see what I could change on my car. I was fairly surprised. I try to keep things in perspective and keep in mind that this is a game for my cell phone, but there really was a lack of options. While there are plenty of internal mods to upgrade (gearbox, engine, intake, turbo, etc) the amount of external mods were restricted to license plate, paint, and decals (which you can not move, design, or recolor).
I was a little sad that my choices were very limited, there was a zombie, lion, black and white pinstripes, and a weird blue thing which vaguely resembles a cat and flames. This day in age I really expect some RGB sliders when it comes to things that are customizable, especially car games. I went with the weird blue thing.
After getting my car set up, I hit up the different available modes of play. Sanctioned races, challenging the first tier crew, and daily races – where I’m provided a tricked out car loaner to race in higher tier races. I’ve earned quite a bit of cash and tricked out my ride with all of the third tier upgrades and I’m waiting for my fourth tier ones to come in. (Fourth and fifth tier upgrades arrive with a time delay unless you purchase with gold coins.)
I’m hooked – this game has me going, and I’m really enjoying it for a quick little game. I can do a few races and then get back to work. I give one word of warning to anyone who is going to play this game. DO NOT enable push notifications. CSR alerts you to EVERYTHING (When you have gas refilled, when you have new daily races, etc.) that is going on and quite frequently. I also must mention that this game does nag with its in-app-purchasing model, always asking me to buy some gold coins. CSR lets you use these coins to expedite shipping on top-end upgrades or unlock certain cars.
Holy Cow! I have nothing bad to say about this game’s graphics, not a single thing. They aced this category with their spot on graphical representation of the licensed vehicles. While perhaps a little smoke particles when my tires spin would have been nice, I expect my 3Gs is already being pushed to the absolute limit.
Honestly there is not a lot to this game, but what more do you want besides customization and racing out of a drag racing title? This simplistic game still handles all the aspects of the racing process and handles them well.
I want to sit in my car, plug in my aux cable, and listen to the sound effects over my car audio because they are awesome. From the squealing tires to the engine’s revving, CSR hits it on the head. Great job!
Sometimes these categories bleed over a little bit. I almost gave this a zero, but getting graphics this pretty onto my aging iPhone 3Gs, alright fine – I’ll give them a point. But the fact is that CSR brings very little to the table in terms of groundbreaking features or new ways of doing things, not that it makes this a bad title.
This game was impressive – really impressive. Still not a perfect score however. Its lack of customization is keeping it from snagging that incredibly hard to achieve 5/5 from me. On this note however, there is another button on this screen that looks like more customization with text that reads “Coming Soon” so my fingers are crossed. While a great game to play here and there, you’re limited to how much you can play by the “Gas” system the game has. While it slowly refills over time, it feels like an artificial hump to jump over and just another poke to the kidney to get me to break down and buy some coins. Please do not read this as “I don’t think this game deserves monetary support” but the amount of times I’m asked leaves a bad taste in my mouth.