RPM: Gymkhana Racing Review
- Decent track design.
- Lots of things to do to acquire stars.
- Great visuals.
- The handling of the cars can kindly be described as icy.
A fun little arcade drift racer that would be a lot more fun if you felt like you actually had a semblance of control over the car.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
When it comes to sports and racing games, players usually fall into two camps. Do you prefer a simulation game style, or an arcade one? RPM falls in the latter category as it is focused primarily on drifting, and accomplishing many varied and strange tasks while drifting.
The game is controlled from an overhead 3rd person view. Hitting the accelerator will propel your car forward but since the slightest shift in turn will begin the drifting that is at the center of the game, you need to watch the speed gauge closely. You want to hit the sweet spot that will allow you maximum control at a decent speed as you spend as much time in drift mode as possible racking up points and score multipliers. At least that's the theory presented here. The reality is that even in that sweet spot, control of your vehicle relies more on luck than any skill. The slightest shift in turning can send you careening into a wall, instantly ruining any score you might have built up. It does feel like you're on an ice rink instead of a race track.
As you race around, there are many different goals to accomplish to gains the stars needed to unlock further levels. Balloons need to be thwacked, walls need to be sprayed with paint, lights need to be turned off, and hidden alleyways need to be drifted down. The game throws enough variety at you that you're never at want for something to do as you make your way around the track, and indeed in some of the later levels, it takes a well planned attack to accomplish everything in one race.
The visuals are a high point as the lighting adds a lot of atmosphere to the race tracks, and the locations that these races are set in have impressive backgrounds. It's just a shame that such fun arcade racing variety is held back by such loose and frustrating controls. Who knows, it could just come down to not coming to grips with what the game is trying to teach here, but in either case, more grip would be appreciated.