Do you ever feel the need to cruise down an open highway, hitting pedal to the metal, going as fast as you can? Well, in case you don’t live in Germany (where there are autobahns with no speed limits), you may have to make do with a simulated racing game. On the bright side, should you choose to play that game on an Android device, you’d be able to play it while in an actual car (just don’t do it when you’re trying to drive)!
Below you can find a selection of three cute little Android racers, all free, and all potentially addictive. Note that some of these games are ad-supported; the reason you don’t see ads in the screenshots is because I use a free app called AdFree Android to remove them. Let’s get started, shall we?
RacingMoto comes from the fine folks at DroidHen (makers of the excellent Fruit Slice). It has very modest hardware requirements, and works on Android 1.6 and above. Graphically, it’s the most basic of the three games, which is why I wanted to start with it. You get a basic top-down view of the road, and you turn left and right by tilting your device. This steering method is an obvious choice, and indeed, that’s what the other two games use as well.
Let’s see what it looks like while playing:
I was forced to use an in-game screenshot from the games Market page, because the screenshot came out very blurry when I tried to take it locally (due to the game’s video rendering). The game itself ran very smoothly and was fun to play. It’s not very customizable, but you do get to pick your ride after accumulating some experience:
Raging Thunder Lite [1.5+]
Now we’re getting onto slightly more 3D-heavy territory. Raging Thunder Lite (and its sequel, Raging Thunder 2 Lite) both require Android 1.5 and above, but look a bit more like a console game. This means if you have a lower-end Android device, gameplay may suffer.
Here’s what Raging Thunder Lite looks like:
Before loading, the game asks first if you want sound or not. I think that’s a very considerate feature. Before starting to play, you get to pick whether to go for a single-player or a multi-player game, as well as a game mode:
Since I mainly want to show you what the actual racing part looks like, let’s skip ahead into a Quick Race.
And there you have it, including a “webpage not available” at the bottom of the screen, where there was supposed to be a banner. This is actual 3D, if slightly blocky. It’s a fairly rich gaming experience, but not the absolute top in terms of graphics.
Which brings us to…
GT Racing [2.0+]
This puppy goes by the full name of GT Racing: Motor Academy Free+, and it’s brought to us by the good folks at Gameloft, a well-known game development studio. It requires Android 2.0 and up, and a lot of free space on your device. When first running the game, it downloads over 200MB of additional content (so you’d better have a Wi-Fi connection handy).
For the first few minutes with the game, you’re likely to staring at something like this:
Fascinating, I know. Thankfully, since this is Android, you can just use the time to play some other game (or even put your phone down and talk to another human being!). Once the download is done, you can start playing. This is by far the most visually impressive game of the three, and my screenshot application wasn’t even close to handling it. So, once more, here’s a little taste out of the game’s Market page:
This is also the least “casual” game of all three. There are lots of cars to choose from, but you must unlock them by winning races. Not only that, but you actually need a license to drive, and there’s a course with a number of different tasks that you must complete to get your license. Plus, there are several types of licenses, so just “having a license” doesn’t guarantee you can drive any car in the game (even once you manage to unlock it).
In short, if racing is your thing and you have a device that’s powerful enough to do GT Racing justice, this is one game you really should take for a spin.
There’s at least one more great free racing game which I didn’t mention above, because we already reviewed it. It’s called Drag Racing, and you can read all about it under 5 Free Android Games To Help You Lower Your Stress Levels At Work. If you’re not into racing games but still want to have a bit of fun with your phone, be sure to check out The 5 Games You Should Be Installing On Your Android Mobile Phone.
What racing games do you prefer to play on your Android? Tell us all about them in the comments below.
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