Race an F1 car like Rubens Barrichello with GP Racing

Aug 31, 2009
Games

Formula One fans beware, if you’ve ever dreamed of racing a Brawn GP chassis like Rubens Barrichello, you’ll want the GP Racing iPhone app. In fact, if you’re really a fan of the Brawn GP Formula One Team, you’ll notice Jenson Button’s yellow-striped helmet in the opening photo but Barrichello’ red-striped helmet in the car […]

Formula One fans beware, if you’ve ever dreamed of racing a Brawn GP chassis like Rubens Barrichello, you’ll want the GP Racing iPhone app. In fact, if you’re really a fan of the Brawn GP Formula One Team, you’ll notice Jenson Button’s yellow-striped helmet in the opening photo but Barrichello’ red-striped helmet in the car once you hit play.

The game’s realistic sound effects make you feel as if you’re accelerating and braking, taking on some of the most challenging elements in real F1 racing. You can adjust the steering sensitivity, auto-accelerate feature and the camera angle (using either a cockpit or follow view).

Unfortunately though, the steering and braking are quite unpredictable, which makes it difficult and frustrating at times to stay on course. Another drawback: you can’t compete against other drivers from the Brawn GP team or otherwise.

The 3D graphics are excellent, though I was a bit disappointed that the circuits included (London, Las Vegas and Europe) were all fantasy tracks. Additional tracks will be released as free updates throughout the 2009 F1 season for a total of 4 circuit locations—the update tracks will include difficult elements from Road America’s Carousel, Monza’s Parabolica, Silverstone’s Copse and Monaco’s hairpin. But it seems that the circuits released will only incorporate certain aspects of some of the world-famous tracks and not have whole recognizable circuits.

If they were to release another app for the 2010 season, I’d hope they would use actual racing tracks such as Monza (Italy), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) and Circuit de Catalunya (Spain).

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There’s also a media button on the main menu that has a photo gallery and a news feed about Brawn GP, both of which would be great if the news and photo content were actually up to date with each qualifying session and race. Instead, on August 28 when I visited the news feed, the most recent news was from July 24.

Despite the drawbacks, the game was fun and held my attention longer than most iPhone games. The main menu also gives you an option to challenge your friends via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail to beat your time. Formula One racing may lack mainstream popularity in the United States, but I noticed that among the many foreign scores reported on the global leader board, there were a decent number of American players.

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