Reckless Racing review (iPhone)See all photos
Put simply, these guys have put together a stellar game that immediately puts a smile on your face from the moment you fire it up. The tongue-in-cheek hillbilly theme (complete with bluegrass background music) is a good start, but more importantly, the control and gameplay are simple and immediately engaging with very little ramp-up time. To suit individual tastes, Reckless Racing lets you choose between some five different control styles: Standard (turning buttons on the left, gas and brake on the right), Tank (gas is applied automatically, turning buttons are in either corner), Tilt, and both Half and Whole Wheel (drag the wheel to turn). We found we were quickest and most agile in Tank mode, but your mileage may vary. You'll probably spend most of your time playing the single-player Dirt Rally mode where you compete against five CPU-controlled cars in three levels of difficulty (along with two levels of steering difficulty), but you also have Hot Lap and Delivery modes. Hot Lap is a straightforward solo mode where you're just trying to set the best time, but Delivery is pretty interesting: the idea is to pick up packages around the course and deliver them to various destinations as rapidly as possible. It's pretty entertaining, and the special Delivery course is complex enough to keep you on your toes.
All that said, Reckless has proven that the top-down format is brilliant on a touchscreen phone's display. We'd love to see more than five rally courses (ten, if you count the unlockable reverse courses) -- but we guess that's a good problem to have, because it just drives home the point that it's already a gas to play. And at $2.99, it's a steal.
Note: The game's been temporarily pulled from the Android Market thanks to download servers that have been stressed beyond their capacity, but Polarbit expects it to be available again soon.