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Race illegal: High Speed 3D Review

By , on September 12, 2011


Race Illegal: High Speed 3D
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Multiple tracks per level; ever-changing challenge, never quite the same race twice.
  • Broad compatibility; visual options can be toned down for older iOS devices (should support 2G).
  • Story-driven gameplay; not just race after race for the sake of earning cash.

CONS

  • Gaudy visuals; over-saturated colors, blurs and effects work against the game's appeal.
  • Generic gameplay; sit tight, turn and hit turbo when it's available, profit.

VERDICT

Race illegal: High Speed 3D tries to make its high impact aesthetic its calling card, though more focus on the story and unique track system would have served it better.


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At times I wonder if the Arcade Racer has lost some of its charm, more specifically I wonder if the need to simplify the controls for iOS users has resulted in a genre that has managed to mute an already toned-down sport too far. Race illegal: High Speed 3D by Apetrus and Chillingo tries every trick in the book to wow the player in to continuing to play, but the end result is something that lacks the energy it tries to portray.

Sparks, blurs, revving engines, flames and whining turbos all collide in a kaleidoscope of color as you follow the story of a racer thrown in to a world of government sponsored street races where competitors are not above eliminating their opponents on (and off) the track. It's an intriguing concept and the addition of a narrative thread helps to motivate you to plow ahead with each new race, varying from traditional to point scoring variants such as drift and even time trials. We've it all before, but at least 'Race illegal' goes to the effort to justify each race.

Three basic control schemes (tilt, touch and swipe) along with a few handy touch buttons (for braking and camera controls) make it easy to jump in straight away. The occasional tutorial tries to ease you in to the world, but you'll be sliding along with the best of them as long as you keep purchasing new cars while upgrading them accordingly. Additional modes for quick-play will unlock as you progress through the game, though no multiplayer mode is available to test your skills against real opponents.

Despite the relatively middle-of-the-road gameplay, one feature did stand out and I'm surprised more racing games haven't taken advantage of it. Many races occur on the same 'track', however instead of there being a fixed layout, the game blocks off and opens routes to create a new level each time you play, keeping you on your toes. This touch alone made the game easier to keep coming back to as the challenge remained fresh.

In the end the pulsing level of energy from 'Race illegal: High Speed 3D' only manages to highlight the traps so many other arcade games on the iOS platform have fallen in to and it only just manages to remain interesting thanks to a handful of neat touches. If you like high-speeds and want a bit of a story to keep things moving along, this is the game for you.

Screenshots

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