If you follow me on the iPhone forums, then you'll know that I've been pining for at least the last two weeks for the iPhone version of "Need For Speed: Undercover." My favorite racing game on the iPhone was "Asphalt 4: Elite Racing." [iTunes link] I also like "Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D" but it's not the same type of racing game.
Well, out of sheer boredom, I decided to take the plunge into two of the hottest racing games in the App Store: "Fastlane Street Racing" and "Raging Thunder."
Fastlane Street Racing - $5.99
This definitely has the BEST graphics I've seen to date on the iPhone. Cars are beautifully rendered and the backgrounds are majestic. And the animation is as smooth as silk. But, that's where my praises end.
I've always been resistant about having an onscreen gas pedal and my worst fears were confirmed. Other games like "Asphalt" have auto-acceleration so that you're mainly concerned about steering. On Fastlane, you're mainly concerned about holding that gas pedal down. Also, the steering interface is puzzling. Instead of using a tilting motion, like on "Asphalt" and "Crash Bandicoot," you have to turn your iPhone as if it were a steering wheel. While that sounds good in theory, it is actually terrible.
It seems Fastlane is more of a racing simulator than an actual game, since it is very close to real-life - the good and the bad.
Raging Thunder - $3.99 (Half-Price Sale)
Raging Thunder also is graphically smoother than "Asphalt," although the backgrounds leave a lot to be desired. This game has elements of what is missing from Fastlane: boosting (blue bar) and tackling (red bar). I've been able to win races using the boost. And I found a bar for "tackling" or crashing into other cars to be pretty interesting. Although I prefer crashing to be a bit more "invisible" like in "Asphalt" where you can just crash into a car. Some things I dislike though is the sound and animation for hitting the sides of the track. They are irritating. Plus, it looks like gunshots. At first I thought there were guns in the game! And like Fastlane, there is a time limit so if you don't hit a certain mark by a certain time then it's game over for you.
Although none of them bests "Asphalt," I do like Raging Thunder over Fastlane Street Racing if only for its fun factor.