A good mark of a truly fun game is the fact that you keep wanting to play it. So despite the IAP content and the fuel-based wait times that are forced in the game, CSR Racing is indeed a pretty good mobile app title that will have you coming back for more. It does this with a combination of good delivery and excellent game mechanics. Ironically, while most critics tend to outright slam the game’s simplistic looking gameplay, there is actually a whole lot of depth to be found in it. Best of all, the car selection is not just a random lineup of branded vehicles, it is easy to see that the developers do have a taste and passion for fast rides and powerful engines.
What is CSR Racing?
CSR Racing is a drag racing simulation game for the mobile phone. As such, there are no controls for turning or even braking. What players do have are controls for acceleration, nitro, gear up and gear down. The goal of the game is to beat CPU controlled vehicles in one on one matches, while there are several ‘formats’ which varies the categories of the cars you face, all of the races in this game are presented in a single mode of play.
There is also a little bit of a plot, but that is mostly something that players can ignore. Basically it puts you in a series of ranked battles where you participate in qualifying races, then face off the tier boss, then do the whole cycle over for the next tier. A ladder system of matches is also available so that players have a second set of races they can win rewards from. Each race won will net players a way to upgrade their current car or buy a better one.
The surprising thing is that the game’s single game mode system, simplistic control scheme, and even freemium structure all manages to work together as a cohesive system. First off, the game can get repetitive –you do the same thing in every single race after all. So the fact that you can only do so for a few times and then wait for the fuel to replenish is a good way to keep from feeling stale.
The controls are indeed, very simple. But the game is not about calculated turning or knowing when to drift, but this is about timing your gear shifts and use of nitro. Mastering the timing for a car is no easy feat, and this will change with every vehicle and when implementing certain upgrades. Also, using nitro has various applications –you can use it to help speed up getting to the next gear ahead of your opponent, you can use it to recover from a bad timing on the gear shift, or you can wait until you reach the highest gear and push it to finish line. Each of these uses has their own pros and cons, and since nitro have a very limited use per race, players have to understand the tactics of using them.
When CSR Racing first came out, it easily grabbed the attention of many players thanks to its incredible graphics. Now, quite a good deal of time later, the visuals still manage to awe and amaze, though they have fallen a little behind the times. Newer titles like Asphalt Airborne and CSR Classics (which is a bit of a semi-sequel) also feature great graphics for vehicles and courses.
Verdict: Old Fun Game
Obviously, the big drawback about CSR Racing is the fact that it is an old game, and this will be very evident in the graphics (particularly with the backgrounds). So players might want to go to CSR Classics instead if they want a drag racing simulation game. On the other hand, Racing is still the only drag racing game that features modern vehicles. It also has great controls and a deep game mechanic. The bottom line is that this is a niche game designed for players looking for a drag racing title. In that sense, you cannot go wrong with having both Classics and Racing from the CSR series of games. Having said that the fact that CSR Racing 2 is being lined up for a release this year will be a welcome upgrade for fans of the first two and with a plethora of updates and improvements to look forward to we can only expect this series to continue on in blazing fashion.