iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3

Written by Joe Martin

July 18, 2009 | 09:54

Tags: #iphone #iphone-and-ipod-touch-games-round-up #iphone-games #ipod-touch #peggle #racing #sonic #sonic-the-hedgehog #worms

Companies: #apple

Sonic the Hedgehog

Developer: Sega
Price (as reviewed): £3.49 / $5.99 from the App Store

There are some things we’ll never forget. Our first reviews, first kisses and the first time we felt like we broke the sound barrier with a bright blue hedgehog in a videogame. Ah, Sonic – it feels like only yesterday.

It wasn’t yesterday though. It was almost twenty years ago, so it’s perhaps a bit odd that the world still can’t get enough the that unrealistically fast hedge dweller – especially given the weird twists that the series has taken in recent times. New games in the series have explored everything from lycanthropic Erinaceinae to bestiality.

This isn’t one of those new games though – this is an utterly faithful port of the original smash hit, complete with that cute little "SAAY-ga" voice at the introduction. That really was a voice that defined a generation, we think.

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Sonic the Hedgehog and Real Racing for the iPhone *iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Sonic the Hedgehog and Real Racing for the iPhone
Sonic the Hedgehog on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Unfortunately though, the emulator that Sega seems to be using to run the game doesn’t seem capable of running smoothly at full speed, so what players end up with is a noticeably chuggy and underwhelming version of the Megadrive classic, rather than a walk down Nostalgia Avenue.

If we had to find a good point to counter-balance the lacking frame rate though then we suppose we’d have to point to the control system, as the virtual D-pad and jump button is a very responsive and accurate set-up even when the game starts to lag.

Verdict: Whereas in other games it might not matter hugely that the emulation isn’t at full speed, this is a game that should excel because of how fluid and fast it is. Remove those elements and the whole of the game starts to fall apart rapidly.

Real Racing

Developer: Firemint
Price (as reviewed): £5.99 / $9.99 from the App Store

In some respects, Real Racing isn’t a remarkable game. As touring car style racing titles go, it’s a fairly straightforward one, with a few different game modes where you have to race against other cars to win races and championships to unlock access to more tracks and more cars. Then, of course, you remember that you’re playing this game on your phone or your MP3 player – and suddenly, it does seem amazing.

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Sonic the Hedgehog and Real Racing for the iPhone *iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 3 Sonic the Hedgehog and Real Racing for the iPhone
Real Racing on the iPhone and iPod Touch

Real Racing looks terrific for an iPhone game – it’s not quite up to Ridge Racer on the PSP, but it’s comfortably in PS1 territory, at the least. It’s fully 3D, even featuring effects such as smoke from locked tires and lens flare from the sun, and you can race with up to six other cars on screen. You can drive from inside the car, or from an external viewpoint. Most importantly, it really shifts – the graphics giving a terrific sensation of speed.

While the game’s structure might be familiar to anyone used to playing driving games on consoles or PC, the fact the iPhone has no control buttons gives the designers a lot to think about. Real Racing’s designers have triumphed here. The game offers four control systems: the first lets you use the accelerometer to steer, auto-accelerates and you touch the screen to brake. The second adds in touch accelerating, the third and fourth use touch steering (with auto accelerating). The first method works tremendously well, especially as when you start the game there’s also adjustable levels of brake assist to help you concentrate on adjusting to the feel of the steering.

What’s really surprising about Real Racing is how effortless it makes reproducing a decent 3D racing game on a touchscreen phone/MP3 player look. It’s great fun, and well worth the £6 asking price.

Verdict: If you like racing games and own an iPhone or iPod, Real Racing is a terrific buy with long-lasting appeal.
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