Making a racing game with a top-down perspective is a real challenge. It takes a skilled developer to create a game that is able to flip the controls as you change directions. After all, with a top-down racer, there are occasions where left is right and right is left. How do you do this without the player getting confused?
There is no simple answer, but when a developer gets it right, you can just feel it. The two games I am talking about today have it figured out. They found a way to take this difficult genre and make it work. Even more impressive is the fact that they excelled on a device where making smooth controlling games is a challenge.
Mini Motor Racing Free (As Of This Writing – $1.99 Normally)
Mini Motor Racing is a traditional top-down racer. You drive around a stationary track with the simple objective of finishing faster than your opponents. If it’s so traditional, what makes it special? Basically, it offers the player options for the way they control the game. Instead of locking you into one control method, they give you a slew of choices so you can pick exactly the one that feels good to you.
Besides choosing your controls, Mini Motor Racing also looks fantastic. The top-down gameplay actually enhances the visuals because it allows them to render the environments with much more style and visual appeal because it requires less resources.
If all of that was not enough, you can play Mini Motor racing with friends. You can play over WiFi and Bluetooth. All in all, Mini Motor Racing captures all the elements that make a top-down racing game fun, and it does it with lots of style.
Slingshot Racing, $0.99
While Mini Motor Racing opted to go with a traditional game, Slingshot Racing tossed tradition out the window and made something that feels completely new and fresh. The idea is so simple that it almost seems like a no brainer, but I cannot recall another game executing this style of racing so well. As the name implies, you race, but instead of steering in the way that you normally do, you slingshot your car.
Basically, as you approach a corner, you tap the screen to release your rope. It grabs onto the pillars in the corner and slingshots your car around until you let go of the screen. That’s it. No complicated control schemes to memorize; simply tapping and releasing the screen at just the right time. It’s so simple, yet so much fun.
The challenge comes from the difficulty of the track design as you progress further in the game. In later tracks the corners come fast and furiously, so you will constantly be pressing and releasing the screen to make your car go around the corner. Add in a slew of game modes such as races, choosing a perfect line to gather objects around the track and a mode where you cannot be in last place or a monster will eat you, and you have a stupendous iOS game that can keep you entertained for hours on end.
These games prove that a top-down racer can be fun, and that they can actually work quite well on iOS. They are cheap and provide hours of quality entertainment on the go. There are hundreds of thousands of games available on iOS, and I can honestly say that these are in my top five.
Have you played any top-down racers on iOS that blew you away? Did you buy these games and just want to tell us that they are awesome? Hit the comments section below and let us know!