Artificial Life recently released Red Bull Air Race World Championship on the app store for $4.99. It is an interesting mix of a racing game and a stunt flying game. The player flies a series of tracks to compete for points over the course of the season. The graphics are good, and the controls are well thought out.
There may be those of you that are good at flying games. I am not, so I found the controls to take time to get used to. However, I have always had trouble with flying controls in any game whether on a console or a mobile platform. I did find the controls frustrating at first, but I quickly started improving and easily winning races in rookie mode. The graphics are a mixed bag. The backgrounds aren’t rendered that well, but the planes look really good. So I wasn’t sure what to think of the graphics when it was all said and done.
UPDATE: Artificial Life recently released an update to the controls, and I find them a little more user-friendly now.
Upgrades: There are many, many upgrades available for the planes in your hanger. Most upgrades are locked at the beginning, and they are unlocked by winning races throughout the season.
Menus: The menus are very polished and function very well. I especially like the menus used when upgrading the planes. The part of the plane that the user is upgrading shows on the right hand side.
Framerate: I did not have any framerate issues while playing. Red Bull Air Racing World Championship runs very smoothly on my iPod. I think framerate must be smooth in order to enjoy any racing game.
Races Feel Slow: Unlike most racing games, Red Bull Air Racing World Championship doesn’t feel fast. It almost feels like you are flying very slowly through an obstacle course. Keep in mind that you can press a button in the bottom right that boosts your flying speed.
Hard to Keep on Track: At times it is very hard to tell where the track is heading. For example, there are races that require the player to perform flips and loops. At point during the race, I lost my place and got way off course. Also, once off course, it is very hard to get back on course.
I would say that my overall opinion of Red Bull Air Racing World Championship is positive. I did have some frustrations with the controls, but they were very usable. For $4.99, I would recommend this game to any flying or racing game fan. It does have a good amount of depth and a fantastic upgrade system.