Pocket Racing arrived in the Marketplace last week and has been earning some pretty glowing reviews. At the same time I'm dying for another 5 star title. Let's take a look...
Pocket Racing is an overhead racing game that can be compared to classic arcade titles such as Super Spring. You control a car on a race track that automatically accelerates while you steer. Your goal is to complete the track as quickly as possible. Controls are done by touching the screen on the left and right to steer accordingly. The game currently features 5 tracks, race lengths of 3/5/7 laps, and a choice of 4 cars with varying attributes. All in all a simple concept.
The controls work well providing an accurate steering mechanism although it seems using the accelerometer would have been a logical feature for this game. So logical that it makes me wonder if they tried that and it just didn't work well. I'm glad they didn't restrict the controls to just the accelerometer though as the game does need precision as your car speeds up and demands a hairpin turn. As you drive a timer ticks away and should you drive off of the course, and you will, a second timer counts penalty seconds that will be added to your time.
The graphics aren't anything to write home about, but I don't see much more needed for this style of game. The cars are small and you want to see as much track as possible in order to plan your maneuvers. The game also has a pretty intense sound track, and the wisely provide the option to turn it off. It's ok for awhile, but just too much for any extended play (and apparently not good enough for their demo video [below]). The engine noise and screeching around the track is quite nice, though. The kicker in this game is the leader boards and the ability to download an opponent. In not entirely clear if these are supposed to be other 'real' people that did well, but you can download one of many opponents to race against and each opponent basically amounts to a pre-generated race. Personally, I expected crashes to come into play... but by opponent they simply mean pace car.
In summary, the game is well done and I'm sure racing fans will enjoy the game. As for me, I need a bit more in my racer to make it exciting... driving in a circle for X laps doesn't cut it. Power ups? Being chased? I need something more in the year 2010. 4/5 stars. And if you'd like to see the game in action you're in luck... just play the video below.