Gameplay: 5 / 10
Graphics: 7 / 10
Replay Value: 5 / 10
Sound and Music: 5 / 10
Ever since the inception of the Fast & Furious franchise, drag racing has become a phenomenon around the world. Game publishers NaturalMotion have bought into that phenomenon and brought it to iOS devices in the form of CSR Racing.
Developed by BossAlien, CSR Racing is the latest free-to-play drag racing game to hit the App Store. The player takes the driving seat of an up and coming rookie who has to make a name for themselves by challenging 5 major crews from 5 different tiers. Each tier requiring a certain type of vehicle to participate as opposition become more challenging. To progress to the next tier the player has to challenge each crew member individually and then defeat the crew leader in 3 races to win over the level. Once the leader is defeated you then have the option of a ‘winner takes all’ rematch where you can win over their car but also stand a chance to lose your prize money from the previous race if you end up losing.
CSR Racing offers various other racing modes like Ladder which pits you up against 24 challenging opponents to become the number one racer with a nice cash incentive included. Regulation races give you the option to race single matches that take place over 1/4 or 1/2 mile distance while earning higher cash prizes depending on the difficulty level you race at (rookie, amateur or pro). Daily Battles puts you behind the wheel of other vehicles over 3 races with higher cash prizes that increase daily. The higher the tier the more game modes you get to unlock with options to race manufacturer and specific car races.
The game also features a mechanic that can fine tune your car for challenging races but requires gold coins which can be won once you level up or either accessed as an in-app purchase. Each race also takes a bar from your fuel tank and once you are on empty you will have to wait a certain period in time for your tank to refill. One can also use gold coins to refuel or get free fuel by viewing content or through social media access.
When starting off you a given a certain amount of cash to purchase a car of your choice from a selection of well known manufacturers. You earn cash from winning various races and can buy more as an in-app purchase if required. Once a car is delivered you can then upgrade each individual part as you like and customize the look. Upgrades can be done on the engine, turbo, intake, gearbox, tires, body and you can also fit the car with nitrous (What’s drag racing without NOS). Upgrades are purchased using cash or gold. Under customize you can change the color of your car and add decals which in turn give you an extra cash bonus at the end of each race.
CSR Racing controls do not require you to steer or break and you only accelerate at the start of the race to rev up the car to gain a good start. The controls rather focus on the timing of gear shifts and a button you tap to release NOS to give you an extra boost. The more precise the gear shifts are the more you get rewarded at the end of each race. The graphics look amazing on the iPad version and are as good as older console racing games like earlier releases of Need For Speed on Playstation.
CSR Racing is a simple, yet entertaining game that has the right looks and sound but unfortunately leaves us running a bit flat when it comes to driving controls and laps. If you are looking for a quick and fun game to play, CSR Racing will do enough to keep you entertained for short bursts of time. Keep a look out for CSR Classics which is the second installment of the series which pits us against rust buckets and classic cars.