Jul 3, 2015

DRIFT SPIRITS seems to be the type of game that could allow one to live life on the edge. Digitally.

At its core, it’s a 1v1 drag racing game with an emphasis on drifting. Competitors go toe-to-toe on curved race track that are all but built to encourage oversteering, and the idea is to level up and get rewards to improve one’s car and progress as far as possible.

The game opens up easily enough, with an AI-driven tutorial that is primarily hands-on. One gets to pick a a car, and get lessons in how to control the car. The controls are virtual, and a bit surprising, in that there is no steering to be had (despite the virtual steering wheel to the bottom right); the control set has more to do with timing… at least at first. To explain, revving the car up takes a degree of precision to get the best jump off, and the drifting procedure involves looking for the right target point to tap the steering wheel to activate the skill. The same sense of timing is required to “release” the car. Doing it too early and just a bit too late throws off a progress, and as these are relatively short races, mistakes can be costly.


Performance yields game cash payouts as well as performance points; the former can be used to improve vehicles and accumulate valuables, while the latter helps with the aforementioned leveling. Additionally, winning races allows for one to gain pieces dropped by the opponent, which can help with improvements and/or boosts. One example is nitro; using this tool at the right time can be the difference between a win and a loss.

It’s a fairly logical game that gets straight to the point and manages to hold the interest past the initial stage. It gets harder, obviously, with boss meetings and budding rivalries. The dialogue loses something in translation, and it does feel formulaic in parts, but it works as a time-waster, especially in story mode.

Creative Mobile roars to 200 million game installs

Creative Mobile roars to 200 million game installs

Aug 13, 2014

Well known developer Creative Mobile announced this week that it has broken 200 million game installs… a huge number. The company also celebrated its 4th birthday at the same time. They grow up so fast. Creative Mobile’s most popular game is Drag Racing with 120 million installs. Drag Racing comes in both bike and car related flavors and the player can race supercars or download Drag Racing 4×4 for some interesting SUV vs truck action. With a strong range of games it is certain that Creative Mobile will only continue to grow.


Drag Racing 4×4 Review

Drag Racing 4×4 Review

Aug 28, 2013

Drag Racing 4×4 is an interesting racing saga adventure from Creative Mobile.

The graphics are a utilitarian affair; i won’t pretend that I did not wish for more pop, but it worked well, and the animations worked without stuttering. The main race screen has two-car raceway drawn to perspective, with my car in the foreground. At the top there is the entire race in silhouette form, and this allows the racers to see position of the cars in relation to one another even when they are both not in the main frame.

With regards to the action, the controls are fairly easy to understand… almost too easy: a gas pedal, a gear shift and, when appropriate, a nitro toggle. I did like the racing mechanism; he developer did a decent job of wrapping up drag1racing concepts into touch controls.

For example, revving up the car and “warming” the tires was key to getting a good jump at the beginning of the race. Visually, this is represented by a realistic-looking RPM with a green area. Tapping on the gas pedal and keeping the needle in the green helps with the initial jump; it takes a little practice to get this right, too. Subsequently, changing gears optimally helps win races. To effect this, the gear shift is used; there is, again, a green area that represents the best time to shift; when the gear button is tapped at the perfect time, a perfect shift occurs, and the game gives a visual acknowledgement of the achievement. No steering really occurs, and the only other consideration is the use of power-ups (like nitro) and garnering cash to upgrade the base vehicles for battles with tougher racers.

The gameplay is laddered, and higher levels are unlocked by winning earlier and easier ones. I like the in-game purchasing system, as money gained from racing can be put back into the car to improve looks and performance. The career mode is compelling, and races can be repeated to gain more money, which is good, because the stock car goes only so fast as-is. Thankfully, the in-game store is chock-full of options that can be procured with cash, real and virtual.

All in all, it’s a fun game that is easy to learn and enjoy.

CSR Racing Review

CSR Racing Review

Apr 17, 2013

No matter what type of things we get into, a lot of gamers have a soft spot for racing. CSR Racing takes us to a place where pinks are the currency and adrenaline is never in short supply.

The tutorial was pretty cool; I learned how to rev up and get a good jump, and also how to shift gears. The mechanism for the latter seemed well designed, felt fairly intuitive and made sense. The graphics were sharp and appealling, and the racing sequence animations were superb.

I started my actual racing career started with a donation of $25,000. I was prompted to pick from a selection of affordable cars. As expected, the starter cars were relatively bare-boned, and it was clear I’d have to race o earn game money to upgrade and increase my garage. I liked the quirky little nuances, like cars taking a while to be CSR1delivered unless I paid for the privilege. Shortly after this, I got to go to a regulation race.

The race was standard night-time drag racing fare; one opponent, winner-takes-all dash over 0.25 miles. Win or lose, i got stats at the end, including a quick detailing of my start, shifts, bonuses and, of, course, time. I won a flat rate for the victory, which I banked towards upgrades. There were several types of races of varying difficulty.

One of the things that set this game apart was the selection of racers and the customization options. Much of it was only accessible via in-app purchasing, but I truly loved seeing European cars and homegrown cars, from BMWs to McLarens. And when upgrading cars, logic had to be applied with regards to equipment. Picking the wrong wheels, for instance, could make it hard to compete in one piece. In-app purchasing could be used to expedite development, but was not needed; I could upgrade and level up on my own.

I found CSR Racing to be vibrant, fun and reasonably realistic. It brings out the Vin Diesel in all of us, allowing us to “live life a quarter mile at a time.”

Virtually, at least.

Drag Racer World Review

Drag Racer World Review

Aug 8, 2012

Drag Racer World is a game about a world that I do not necessarily find myself immersed in: drag car racing. Maybe it’s because I drive a particularly lame jalopy, or my general distaste for driving in general (I don’t trust other people in high-speed death machines!) but I like my car games to be as unrealistic as possible!

But something else drew me to Drag Racer World: cross-device cloud saves. That is what this does extremely well: by linking up to Facebook, progress will carry from device to device, even across the vast landscapes of iOS and Android. Challenging other racers is a seamless cross-platform experience as well, with zero indication given when challenging a racer if they’re on the same platform.

As far as how the whole thing plays, the goal is to rev up the engine before starting, trying to hit the shift line perfectly. Then, it’s about shifting gears at just the right time to ensure proper acceleration, to try and nudge ahead of the other car at the finish line. There’s a single player mode where CPU opponents with increasingly-better cars can be challenged, and an asynchronous multiplayer mode where players can race their friends and online strangers.

The concern to me was that the game felt like it came down to one element, ultimately: could I get that perfect start off the line? It’s such a difficult thing to do consistently, but doing it properly helps make victory a lot easier. The pressure of the energy mechanic, which allows for about 10 races per hour, makes it difficult to get it right when so few sessions can be done in a short period of time. Having the turbo boost ability there as a practical “instant win” button is very tempting as well. But that’s the world of free-to-play games: gotta find some way to tempt the player to spend some money!

There is the ability to tune the gear ratios and other advanced car options; as someone who is actually not a car geek, I have no clue how exactly any of this is supposed to work. As such, I leave it alone because I always think I’m messing something up. Maybe this is a feature just meant for people who know what they’re doing, but why not have some kind of tutorial to explain it?

I will say that beyond my initial curiosity about cloud saves, I had some fun with Drag Racer World. Even though I still have zero clue about the whole tuning thing, upgrading my car was fun, and being able to play on whatever device I felt the whim to use? That’s also extremely satisfying. The core gameplay is simple, yet that also makes it easy to pick up on – this is certainly an entertaining-enough diversion.