Rhythm Racer iPhone game lets you drive the beat, so to speak

Jan 14, 2010
Games

Mobile takes on classic video game formulas abound on the iPhone, and the Rhythm Racer iPhone game (free) looks to double its pleasure by co-opting two genres: high-speed racers and music games. It doesn’t hit on all fronts, but it gets most of the high-speed racing part of the equation right. In Rhythm Racer, you take a futuristic […]

Mobile takes on classic video game formulas abound on the iPhone, and the Rhythm Racer iPhone game (free) looks to double its pleasure by co-opting two genres: high-speed racers and music games. It doesn’t hit on all fronts, but it gets most of the high-speed racing part of the equation right.

In Rhythm Racer, you take a futuristic racing craft (like something you’d see in an F-Zero game) and send it flying down a race track that looks oddly like the Guitar Hero/Rock Band fret boards. The main object of the race isn’t to beat your opponents, but rather to collide with the orbs littering the track that, when hit, play the background music you’re listening to during the game.

If nothing else, this iPhone game is a unique take on a racing game. The sense of speed you feel while racing is impressive, and controlling the craft by tilting the iPhone left and right isn’t much trouble at all after a few tries. That said, the music in the one free track you’re given to start out isn’t anything to write home about. It’s generic rock music that would benefit either from a bit more variety or a licensed track or two that people actually want to hear.

The iPhone game does boast that it has a “Pickup Placement System” which I assume means the orbs are placed somewhat randomly on the board. This is supposed to make each race unique, but it’s hard to notice much about the orbs when you’re going so fast in the first place. The game would benefit instead from more unique tracks, not unique orb placement. Users are given the option to buy another track for 99 cents, but that still feels like slim pickings.

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The best part of Rhythm Racer might be its OpenFeint support. OpenFeint creates a community for the game. By signing up with the free service, you get access to several online leaderboards, achievements, forums, chats and more. While some games oddly lack even the simplest leaderboards, Rhythm Racer has gone the opposite way and provided a tremendous community for those who want to check it out.

Rhythm Racer might be a little light when it comes to game play options right now, but it has a good foundation to build on with a fun racing experience and a burgeoning online community. If it can add a few more racing oriented options like extra tracks, this might be an iPhone game to look out for yet.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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