On the surface this is basically a drag racing game but once you get in to the game you’ll find it is so much more.
The game play in CSR Racing by Natural Motion is simple – you race 1 opponent on a quarter mile or half mile simulated city block. If you win you get money and experience. You also get bonus money for a Perfect start , Perfect shifts, Good shifts and special bonuses for decals.
When you start the game you get some of the in-game cash to purchase a vehicle. You can buy more later on but you’re going to racing that first car for a while as you build up money for upgrades and additional purchases.
There are several auto makes and many different models to choose but your starting budget is limited and you must start with a tier 1 vehicle. The models are split in to 5 different tiers; 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The auto manufacturers are Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Mini and Nissan. Each manufacturer has at least a couple of options to choose from when selecting which cars to buy throughout the game.
For the upgrades, they are the same throughout the game but depending on the car they have varying degrees of impact on the car’s performance. Tires, transmission, engine, turbo, intake, nitrous, and body are the upgrade types you can choose. Better tires mean less slippage. A better “body” means lower weight but increased slippage. Engine, Turbo, and Intake improvements all mean power as does Nitrous. The transmission upgrades are most varied in their impact since they affect different aspects of the car depending on the level of the upgrade. Overall, the transmission upgrades improve grip, shifting, and weight.
Each car you buy can be customized to your taste – some changes are free (like the paint color) but other customizations cost either one of the 2 in-game currencies. Getting a decal is a good idea since they boost your winnings. The bonus amount depends on the type of decal you apply.
So, you get “money” and experience for winning – the money you win is what I would call the non-premium currency (cash). You also earn a little of the premium currency (gold) at either random times, at a new level, or when you beat a boss. The random times appear when you start up the game – you get a message that indicates a secret donor has given you 1 Gold. When you level up, you get one gold and if you beat a boss of a tier you get 5. Of course, you can purchase either of the currencies at any time during the game… it is very tempting. Using the Gold allows for faster delivery of upgrades. Some of them are “imports” and take a few minutes. There are also certain customizations and vehicles you can only get with the Gold. For example, right now I can only buy the Laguna Seca Mustang Boss LS for 58 gold. There is no option for me to purchase this car with the Cash.
Going back to the game play – Part of the reason i like this game is that it reminds me of the Kenner Redline game I had when I was a kid. That was a handheld game where you ‘raced’ different types of vehicles by maxing out your speed but not hitting over reaching the RPMs. If you maxed out the RPMs the engine would blow up. The controls were basic; just Gas and Shift or something like that. This game is not all that different. You rev the gas to the right level of RPMs and when the timer counts down to zero you want to be in the sweet zone for your car. If you do that, you get a fast start and get some bonus points. Too high and your wheels spin more. Too low and you get a slow start. Then, you shift at the appropriate times, as designated by a green light on your console. I have yet to see a reason to shift down but you could do that too. If you shift correctly and your upgrades are right, you win. All you could do with the Redline game was race. CSR Racing obviously does a whole lot more and does it very well.
One of my favorite features – you can switch from an iPad to an iPhone and keep your progress in the game. Thus far, that is very rare and HIGHLY appreciated. That right there is worth the cost of admission.
On to the review #s
Entertainment Value 4/5 –
For me this is hitting a sweet spot. I still can’t figure out why but I’m near the end of the 4th tier out of 5 so I must be entertained.
Ease of Use 4.5/5 –
Depending on your hand/eye coordination this may be a small challenge but the controls are very easy. The icons all make sense. It’s laid out pretty well so as to not be confusing.
Likelihood of Replay 5/5 –
It’s in my top rotation of games and it looks like they are planning some upgrades. Since I like to collect things, I’m sure I’ll keep racing so I can buy more cars even after I defeat the last boss.
Graphics and Sound 4/5–
The graphics look great and the sound is very good. It might be nice if the sound track would vary on different tiers but overall it’s solid.
Overall 4.4 out of 5 –
This is one of the highest ratings I’ve given a game so far. It’s keeping my interest which is hard to do. If you’re in to customizing cars, racing them, or just want some entertainment, check out CSR Racing.
Are there any racing apps you recommend? Please leave some recommendations in the comments.