Category Archives: Real Racing 3

Aston Martin

I finally upgraded to Real Racing 3 version 2.1.0 – the “Aston Martin” update.

As the title suggests, this update represents the debut of a brand-new marque – the prestigious British American name of Bond, James Bond Aston Martin. This version introduces double-oh-three new cars, namely the DB9, the Vanquish and the V12 Vantage S in ascending order of sexiness.

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The new Astons feature in a new series, “Aston Martin Expedition”, which fits in half way up the tree between “Prestige Powermatch” and “Euro Supercar Duel”.

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There is also another new series: “All Star Vendetta Series”, which is optional and may found tucked underneath the “Zenith Series”.

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Other new changes in this version include Customization, Photo Mode, Gold Achievements.

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The new cars feel unique. The acceleration is powerful enough to reach some serious speeds, but it is the brakes that really impress – they are absolutely legendary. Unlike the Porsche 911s, however, the Astons handled beautifully and predictably with complete control and plenty of warning that the car is about to lose grip, which makes for cars that are great fun to drive.

Stay tuned for the next upgrade — Open Wheelers.

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Hyperexotics

Another day, another version of Real Racing 3. This version takes a break from previous versions (1.12, 1.2, 1.3, 1.3.5, 1.4, and 1.5) and kicks it up a whole major version it to 2.0.0. However, the big leap in version numbering is perhaps a little disingenuous, as there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between this and the last version (1.5).

Two new Cars

Screenshot_2014-04-10-03-50-04This version features the debut of two new cars — the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Veneno. Both incredibly sexy, incredibly fast — and incredibly expensive — so much so, that if you have to ask “how much?” you can’t afford one:

The McLaren P1 costs $1.15 Million, and there are fewer than six hundred in existence

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The Lamborghini Veneno costs a jaw-dropping $4 million and there are only three in existence.

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Both production runs of both cars are completely sold out, but thanks to the magic of the Firemonkeys, you get to drive both in a brand-new Series — the Vertex — along with the Porsche 911 RSR (2013) (known irreverently as the “Porsche SuperGrip”, due to it’s hamsters-with-gluepots ability to stick to the road) that was introduced way back in the 1.3.5 “Seven Bloody Porsches” update.

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The Death of the Delorean

Since the release of the game early last year, the game has offered a different “deal” every week, including some free or half-price cars. However, those in the know were aware that it was possible to put your device in airplane mode, set your device’s date to back when the discount was available… and purchase.

The not-so-awesome race.

Screenshot_2014-07-13-08-24-55The “Awesome Race” is gone. The ’69 Charger Endurance race that used to go on forever has now been well and truly fixed.

Onward and Upward to V2.1 – Aston Martin

All this and Ferrari II

It’s been a while since I have blogged on my favorite game, Real Racing 3. Time to put that right. Last time round I was less than impressed with the first three Ferraris (yes, that is apparently the correct plural) introduced in version 1.4, but what I didn’t know at the time was that the Men from Modena had another three cars ready to go — the 458 Spider, the 599 GTO, and the legendary Enzo Ferrari.

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Unlike the previous three, these new offerings were a little more what I expected of the Marque; Better performance, better handling.

There was also an unexpected addition to the Real Racing stable, a debut from a new manufacturer, ladies and gentlemen, presenting the mighty name of… Hyundai?

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In the last version of the game, I noted that “Ferrari Faceoff” had been put at the end, after “Zenith”. In this version, it has been moved from it’s ill-deserved ultimate position at the top of the tree to further down.

This is the last version of the game that featured “the Awesome Race”, my name for the everlasting endurance race with the ’69 Dodge Charger that was introduced in Version 1.3. I took advantage of this to run a blistering 1500-mile race over the course of a week.

1500 Miles

The likes of which the world has never seen…

New feature: Weekly Time Trial Tournaments

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-42-53While this is a new feature, I cannot comment on it, since weekly time trial tournaments require that you have the latest version of the game installed, which this isn’t.

Race Replay

Screenshot_2014-06-10-02-42-58This is a wonderful feature. After completing a race you have the option of watching it again from a series of trackside cameras, or from any of the driving views. Very nice. The only thing that is missing is the ability to save that replay for watching later, or showing to your grandchildren. Assuming that you can take enough time away from the game to actually have any children, that is…

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AWD Attack

AWD AttackThis is one of those events with only one car — the brand-spanking-new Hyundai. I20 WRC Don’t be fooled – the I20 WRC is a little beast of a car, with a beastly price tag to match. It’s a four-wheel-drive rocket-powered roller-skate, although when fully upgraded, it is almost feels too fast, and feels skittish in the corners. It also gets my vote for the coolest product placement I have ever seen in a a computer game.

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Oh, the irony…

Grand Tourer Supremacy Series

Grand Tourer Supremancy SeriesNo new cars to be found here, but a chance to make some extra R$ and Gold from the cars you already have. This series showcases the two Bentleys (Continental Supersports and Continental GT Speed) and two of the three Mercedes-Benzes (SLS AMG and SL 65 AMG Black Series). Sadly they left out the third Benz — the sexy SLS AMG GT3, but it would not have fitted in here.

Spirit of Ferrari

Spirit of FerrariMamma Mia! The Italians are at it again! Race the three new Ferraris. You start off with the 458 Spider working your way up to the 599 GTO before unlocking the legendary Enzo Ferrari.

Enzo Ferrari Triumph

Enzo Ferrari TriumphThe mob at Ferrari must have been mightily impressed with the Enzo Ferrari; they named it after their founder. “Enzo Ferrari Triumph” joins “AWD Attack” and “The Legend Continues” to become the third single-car series — and like the other two, this series is optional.

The name's Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari.

The name’s Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari.

 

Finally… Ferrari

The Prancing Horse arrives in Real Racing 3

Without a doubt, the most-requested marque in Real Racing 3 has to be Ferrari. Over the course of last year I have seen scores, if not hundreds of posts on FireMonkeys and other forums, begging for Ferrari to be added to the game.

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Naturally, the addition of a marque to the game requires an intricate mating dance in which information, money and data changes hands before permission is finally given. For a prestige marque like Ferrari, this dance is a particularly intricate one.

Well, it’s finally happened; the legendary Italian marque has been added to the impressive roster of cars currently available in the game, bringing the total to 74.

The new offerings include the Ferrari FF, 45B Italia and F12Berlinetta. In addition, Lexus has added the IS 350 F Sport (2014), which is an almost insignificant addition — an afterthought when compared to the three Italian offerings.

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The new Ferrari — apparently the plural of “Ferrari” is “Ferrari” (who knew?) — are raced in two new series. The first of these, Ferrari Faceoff — or “Ferrari Tear-Your-Face-Off”, as I call it — is a career series. Curiously, it is found right at the end, after Zenith. This is odd, since the Ferrari offerings are not really in the same class as the Bugatti Veyron, Agera R, etc. In my opinion it should have been inserted earlier in the series, perhaps around the “Lexus LFA Showcase Series”, after the appearance of the last Lamborghinis (or should that be “Lamborghini”?), which are their closest competition.

The second event — Battle Italia — is an optional series. It is also rather unusual in that it pits the three new arrivals against two of the Lamborghini(s) that have been in the game since Day One.

There is also a new track — Circuit de Catalunya, in Spain. Like the Dubai Autodrome, it is a collection of tracks of varying length and complexity. Like Dubai, it is kind of irritating, but at least there are no twilight races (and a little less sand).

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There is also a new type of Event: Ghost Challenges. It is an evolution of Time Trials, in which the player can challenge any other player on the Time Trial ladder.

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Another new feature is “Meet The Crew”. This motley bunch consists of “The Manager”, who will double the payout of the next race, “The Agent”, who will similarly double the fame earned in the next race, and “The Mechanic”, who will magically erase the damage caused by the next race.

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But these bonuses only work if you win the next race. The crew can be hired for one gold piece each, but if you win enough races, they will work their magic for free.

Another welcome change is that the Monkeys increased the payouts: My “Reference Race” (Classic American Muscle, ’68 Dodge Challenger Indy Speedway Endurance, 50 miles) yielded R$29990 and 5990 fame in 1.3 and 1.3.5; in 1.4 it was increased to R$41960 and 7980 fame — a substantial increase, and much appreciated.

Off Track - Invalid Lap

The only fly in the ointment was that a change was made to Time Trials such that invalidated the result if if all four wheels left the track. This was an annoyance, but an understandable one. The result has become the bane of my existence.

The Verdict

Perhaps the biggest surprise about this version is that three new the Ferrari are really not that impressive. The first two (FF and Italia) are under-performing, and only the third has performance that could grudgingly be called “impressive”. But all three cars are skittish and skiddy; the defining thought that kept popping into my mind when taking one around a track was a Douglas Adams/Zaphod Beeblebrox quote: “Looks like a fish, moves like a fish, steers like a cow”. Racing the F12Berlinetta against its closest Lamborghini opposite number — the Aventadora — highlighted the difference. The Lambo was a joy to drive; fast yet forgiving, with plenty of warning when Bad Things Were About To Happen. The Ferrari, however, lost grip far too easily, and when if did so, the “departure from controlled flight” was quite vicious.

Perhaps FireMonkeys did not model the cars correctly, but assuming that they did a good job — the models would have to have been approved by Modena, after all — the new additions were disappointing and not that impressive.

The Ban Hammer strikes again

The Endurance Race that I mentioned earlier is, of course, the same race that I mentioned in my review of V1.3.5. The bad news is that apparently the large payouts from those long Endurance Races was apparently enough to trigger a week-long automatically-generated ban. What is incredibly irritating is that there is no appeal mechanism against this ban. Given that I had not actually done anything that might be considered as cheating I decided that if I was going to be labeled a cheat I might as well be one, so I got a friend to “bless” my profile, by adding a few thousand gold coins. I didn’t ask for any R$ — I could earn that honestly enough. I asked for about 4k; to my surprise he added 57k. That should be far more than I will ever need…

Naturally, that triggered another week-long ban, but at this point I really don’t care. In fact, I still haven’t been back on-line, even though the ban expired a week ago, and I don’t have any plans to go online anytime soon.

Ban 2

Onwards to 1.5!

Porsches, Porsches and more Porsches

I recently finished the “Muscle Cars” version of RR3 and upgraded to the next version up: 1.3.5, also known as “50 years of 911”, but known unofficially by me as “Seven more bloody Porsches”.

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I am not particularly enamored of the Porsche 911; having driven cars made by Bugatti, Koenegsegg, Pagani, McLaren and Lamborghini, the 911s in the game felt a little… weak. While they were competent enough cars, I have found them to be overrated. In the “Everyday Heroes” Series, for instance, while the 911 GT3 RS is a better car on paper than the BMW M6 Coupe, I preferred the latter. It was bigger, quieter, more civilized and more “chuckable” than the 911, which felt noisy, twitchy and difficult to control by comparison.

From the beginning, the game has boasted no less than three Porsche 911s – the 911 GT3 RS, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0, and the 911 GT3 Cup – as well as the awful Carrera GT, the indecently quick 918 RSR Concept, and the absolutely lovely 918 Spyder Concept. So with a total of six Porsches to choose from, the game has not exactly been light on this particular marque. So imagine my surprise when I found out the they were releasing an update featuring no less than *seven* more Porches – all 911s.

  • 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (1972)
  • 911 Targa (1974)
  • 911 Carrera 2 Speedster (1993)
  • 911 Carrera RS 3.8 (1995)
  • 911 GT2 (2003)
  • 911 Turbo (2009)
  • 911 RSR (2013)

A Free Porsche!

Once upon a time, the game offered a free Porsche 911 for one day only. All you had to do is enter the racing code “50 Years of 911” and…

A Free Porsche!

The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 (1972) is the oldest 911 in the game, but it is a surprisingly decent little machine, and it good enough to get you a long way down the road, so to speak. The second car in the series, however, is utter crap, and requires a couple of upgrades to get through one of the two Showcase races (the Hockenheim Speed Record). Working your way down the series from there, however, the cars get progressively better and better before culminating in the Awesome (and, at XX Gold, ruddy expensive) 911 RSR. This is the grippiest car thus far in the game (1.7G stock).

Porsche 7

A Better View

One of the most annoying changes from 1.1.12 to 1.2 is that they lowered the bonnet view. IThis made it more difficult to discern the width of your vehicle — which made it easier to run off the track — as well as making it more difficult to see past the vehicle in front of you. Apparently the FireMonkeys were listening, as they have added a high/low camera setting that gives you back the original high view — a much-appreciated touch.

The Awesome Race Continues

As the version numbering suggests, 1.3.5 does not feature any major changes in the game over 1.3; just a bunch of new cars. In my earlier piece on the muscle Cars edition, I mentioned “The Awesome Race”, an everlasting endurance race featuring the ’69 Dodge Charger. The good news is that this race is unchanged in V1.3.5, and I was able to surpass my personal best and clock up an amazing result.

The Ban Hammer Strikes

Although this was a perfectly legitimate race, the sudden influx of cash must have caught the attention of the “anti-cheat” routines built into the game as I soon got this:

Not a problem, as I was able to progress all the way through the 911 Series without needing to play online. Since the offline bots are more predictable and less capable than the saved performances of other players, this actually had the effect of making the game *easier*. Gee, thanks..!

Muscling In

For those of you who don’t know me, I am seriously addicted to a game called Real Racing 3. I first started playing over a year ago, but had to start the game again with an “upgrade” that was so bad that it cause me to revert to the older version, only to lose all my progress to the tune of R$1.9M and 19 cars.

I started again, and armed with what I had learned, I soon passed my previous high-water mark and went rocketing onwards. I eventually completed the game, winning every race and buying every car. By this time several newer versions had come out, and so I decided to upgrade, one version at a time, skipping over the truly awful V1.2 “Prestige Update” and moving on up to 1.3, also known as the “Classic American Muscle” update.

What’s New In This Version

  • As well as the Three Mercedes-Benz and two Bentleys from the Prestige Update, this version boasts four new cars: Dodge – ’69 Charger R/T, Dodge – ’71 Charger R/T, ’67 Cobra GT500, Shelby ’66 Cobra 427
  • There are also two new series: “Classsic American Muscle” (Career)), “The Legend Continues” (Optional)
  • Other changes include the addition of Google+ support, and the reduction of the costs of upgrading your drive points (from 2 to 3 cost has been lowered from 50 Gold to 20).

NewStuff Wide

Perhaps the the most exciting change is an unplanned one which I have dubbed “The Awesome Race“. This is an Endurance race in the Dodge ’69 Charger R/T Showcase (which means that only this car can compete in this particular race), at the Indianapolis Speedway

What makes this race “awesome” is that a sufficiently-upgraded ’69 Charger is faster than every other car on the track, which makes it theoretically possible to run this race forever. What this means is that it is possible to rack  up a huge number of miles, with matching payouts and gold. The only limitation is how much time you are willing to spend holding up your tablet and staring at it.

Being forewarned about this, I decided to experiment by doing one upgrade at a time, and seeing how it affected my score. The first few attempts were fairly pedestrian, and before long I had exhausted the cash upgrades and had to start spending gold. And that was when it started to get interesting.

The race starts off inauspiciously enough, going round and round the Indianapolis Speedway – perhaps the most boring track in the game. About twenty miles in, however, it starts to get interesting. Instead of triplets of cars strung out in single file, you start to see packs of cars all bunched up, weaving around, trying to pass each other. If there are enough cars in the pack, some fool will invariably start driving on the grass, throwing up a billowing cloud of smoke that can be seen a mile away. Since they tend to try to follow the same line, it is often easy to pass them, but they sometimes do stupid, unpredictable things, and the result is utter chaos, particularly in the corners.

Mess with the best...

Mess with the best…

Terror at Turn Two

Turn two of the Indianapolis Speedway is my favorite bit of the track; as computer-controlled cars (“Bots”) have a tendency to make a mess of this turn with occasionally hilarious results – cars weaving, wobbling, skidding, bouncing off barriers and walls and occasionally spinning off completely, often taking out other cars in the process – one of which may be yours, if you are not careful.

On the Curve

Tips

  • Feed but don’t feast. If you see a large, slow-moving pack of cars in front of you, try to resist the temptation to pass them all at once. Your time-clock is capped to ninety seconds; waiting a few seconds and staggering out your passing helps to keep your time-bank safely in the black.
  • Don’t kill the goose! When you pass a car, it fades away after a few seconds, then re-spawns somewhere on the other side of the track. This means that once you have passed the last car in a pack, you may find yourself with nobody else to pass, and may run out of time before you catch them up.
  • Watch for clouds of smoke; they signify cars that are out of control of running out of track. This may mean a passing opportunity, or it may mean a multi-car pile-up that needs to be avoided. Heads up!
  • Avoid collisions. Wherever possible, try to Dodge (pun intended) around those cars that spin out of control; hitting one of them can drop your speed down to 80MPH, It will take ages to get back up to speed, at which time you will have a lot of catching up to do. On one occasion a car sideswiped me, bounced off the wall and sideswiped me again, leaving me unable to to catch up with the pack and effectively knocking me out of the race.
  • Use the kerbs, Luke! Each of the four corners has a narrow area that you can drive on without losing traction. Having that little bit of extra room to maneuver will make your turns smoother and make it easier to keep your speed up. At turn 1 this is yellow, the other turns it is dark gray. Keep it smooth and you won’t bleed speed in the corners.
  • Watch out for the Stig. That’s a joke; they all look like the Stig,

The end result is an incredibly fun race that can only be described as “Epic”, that leaves you exhausted and elated. I have only managed to get up to 255 miles, but some players have topped the thousand-mile mark, and a few have even done their own version of the “Indy 500” — five hundred laps (1250 miles) — at a cost of more than eight hours of their time.

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I strongly suspect that this “feature” was rebalanced out of later versions of the game, but I will use this to build up cash and gold in preparation for the next version — 1.3.5, or the the “Fifty Years of 911” Update (also known irreverently by me as the “Seven more bloody Porsches edition”). I’ll be back with a detailed report on that version at some time in the not-to-distant future.

I have to go… I see smoke on the horizon.

Real Racing 3: Looking Forward, looking back

Real Racing 3 is a game that is near and dear to my heart. I started playing it over a year ago, and have blogged on it on several occasions. I almost quit when they “broke” the game and I had to start again. Since then I have spent — or wasted, if you prefer — over 20 days of my life on this game. Also since that time there have been several major updates to the game, adding cars, tracks, series, events and features to the game.

I had been content to play the same old version (1.1.12) that I had played from the beginning. However, a few weeks ago, I finally “completed” the game, having purchased all 53 cars and won every race. With no more worlds to conquer, I decided to look at some of the later versions and see what was out there. I took a backup of my profile — 56 cars, R$3 million and 500Gold — and checked out the various upgrades that are on offer.

Before looking forward, a brief look back might be in order. The earliest version that I have is 1.0.56, which has 46 cars, with Cup, Elimination, Speed Snap and Speed Record Races, and support for social racing (“race-against-your-friends’-virtual-bot-lookalikes”) via Facebook. 1.1.7 was the “Chevrolet” upgrade, adding the Camaro ZL1, and the Cobalt SS to the lineup, as well as “Hunter Mode”, a one-lap race where you attempt to pass a slower car that is given a head start, and are graded on how far ahead of them you are when you cross the finish line.

The next version — 1.1.11 — was the “Dubai” update, adding New cars by Lexus and Dodge (Lexus IS-F, Lexus LFA, Dodge Charger RT, Dodge Charger SRT8), along with a collection of new circuits at the Dubai Autodrome. Which brings us to 1.1.12, which adds the Corvette ZR1, bringing the roster up to 53 cars. This is the version that I have played, eschewing all updates, for over a year.

The next version — 1.2.0 — known as the “Prestige Update”, added five more cars (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, SL 65 AMG Black Series, SL AMG GT3 G140, and Bentley Continental GT Speed and Continental Supersports), bringing the total to 58. It also added two new Series — Prestige Powermatch and Euro Supercar Duel, along with a new event — Time Trials.

Menu All Full shrunk

Time Trials are both a blessing and a curse. The idea of a timed lap with a worldwide leaderboard is a stroke of genius; a chance for drivers to test their mettle against all comers. However, the implementation has cause a bit of an uproar, due to another new feature: “Drive Points”. You start the game with two drive points out of a maximum of two. Each Time Trial uses up a drive point. If you run out of Drive Points, you have three options:

  1. Wait for your Drive Points to regenerate, which they do at a rate of one every eighteen minutes.
  2. Refill your Drive Points, at a cost of two Gold pieces.
  3. Raise your Drive Points maximum. The first upgrade — from two to three — costs 50 gold. To raise the limit further to four costs another 100 Gold, and to raise it to its highest level — five — costs an mind-numbing 200 gold.

Drive Points Half

This was perceived my many, quite rightly, as a money-grab by the publishers, as gold is the most scarce resource in the game. Their hope is that they can entice you into spending all of your gold, in the hope that you will head over to the store where they will sell you Gold Coinage at prices ranging from 10 for $1.99 (20c per coin)  to a jaw-dropping 1000 for $100 (10c per coin). While I have no problems with In-App Purchasing, they are overpriced by a factor of 10 in my opinion. Asking a game player to fork out the equivalent of $50 in real money to buy ONE high-end car (and a similar amount to upgrade it fully) is ridiculous. If they ever offered me 1000 gold coins for $10 I would jump at it — but $100? — surely you jest. Rant over.

In previous versions, you could buy any car you wanted, as long as you had the R$ and Gold to pay for it. You could complete series in any order you wanted, and skip a series and return to it later. This is what I did; starting with road cars, moving up to sports cars and then on to supercars, then circling back and doing the GT cars, before getting the Lexus LFA and finishing up with the “Orphan” cars in V8 Naturals, that were not used anywhere else. As of the Prestige Update, this was no longer possible; your progress was laid out as a linear “Career Path”, where you had to complete the basic series before you could move on to the more advanced ones.

Menu All Full

This was annoying because it forced you to buy cars that you didn’t want — like the Lexus LFA — in order to “Unlock” the cars you actually wanted — like the Koenigsegg Agera R. “Locked Cars” and “Locked Series” were the main reasons for me avoiding this update for over a year.

I did find one minor bug – one of my cars had a funky paint job. As soon as I tried to race with it, the game would crash.

Funky Paint Job

Re-spraying the car fixed the problem.

Another gripe is what they did to the repair-and-maintenance screen. After each race, you had the option of repairing the bashed and broken bits of the car. This had to be done manually, and took no time at all, but it showed you the cost of each repair. In the new version, the game goes ahead and fixes your car out of the “Clean Race Bonus”. This is not so bad — the game giveth and it taketh away.

The maintenance system, however, was ruined. Prior to this, you had the choice of five different types of maintenance — oil change (acceleration), engine rebuild (top speed), brakes, suspension (grip) and tires (grip). You could choose whether or not to perform maintenance, so you could put off tire replacement, running on bald tires at the expense of lost grip. Depending on the car, an oil change could take 5 to 20 minutes, while an engine rebuild could take from an hour to almost a day. They replaced this with a single all-or-nothing scale; easier, to be sure, but less “real” — and an unnecessary “dumbing-down” in my opinion.

Repair

Another change was that your view from the Car has been lowered to a more realistic level. Personally I find this change to be quite irksome, as it has the effect of making it much more difficult to see the field of cars ahead of you. It also makes it more difficult to judge the width of your vehicle, which makes it easier to inadvertently stray from the track (Off-Track Penalty!). In addition, the track has been rendered in a lighter, silver-grey color, which is more difficult to distinguish and is reflective in places.

As of this version, the game also adds support for Sina Weibo in addition to Facebook.

Perhaps the worst thing about this upgrade is that the payouts have been lowered, which means you get less money for most races. But it’s not all bad news; one neat new feature in this version is the “Daily Race Bonus”. Once a day, you get a bonus for your next race. This bonus starts at 20% on Day 1, then on subsequent days goes through 30%, 40%, 50% to 100%, and stays at 100% as long as you race at least once a day.

Daily Race Bonus

Here’s the TL;DR version:

The Good:

  • Daily Race Bonus
  • Upgraded Graphics
  • New Cars: Three from Mercedes-Benz, two from Bentley
  • Time Trials

The Bad:

  • “Career Mode”
  • Lowered View
  • Automagical Repairs
  • View Hotspot Enlarged
  • Drive Points

The Ugly:

  • Locked Cars
  • Locked Series
  • Dumbed-down Repairs
  • Ridiculously Expensive to upgrade Drive Points.

The Bottom line: I was so underwhelmed when I saw what they had done to the game that I skipped this version and went straight to the next version along: version 1.3.0, “Classic American Muscle”. More on that next time.

Real Racing Revisited

Or: enough with the alliterations already!

This article started life some time ago as an all-singing, all-dancing one-stop-shop for all things Real Racing 3: Hints, tips, advice and a walkthrough. Then the “good folks” at Electronic Arts bought out a new version of the game which added a few unwelcome features (locked cars, locked series, Drive Points, PR rating), and reduced the prize money payouts. These “improvements” all had the effect of reducing earnings and increasing spending, presumably in the hope of “driving” you into the store to spend some real money. I responded by downgrading to the previous version, starting again — the upgrade “broke” my data and downgrading cost me R$1.6M and 19 cars — and working my way slowly back to greatness.

Any road up, the changes that were made to the game are enough to obsolete a lot of what I have written, so this is what is left. Hope it helps.

Hints and Tips

  • DO NOT BUY A CAR JUST TO COMPLETE ONE SERIES! Before you start a series, determine in advance which vehicles are worth purchasing, and which ones are not. When you get the one-off 20% off offer, there will be no opportunity to check if that car will be useful in the future. It is not generally worth purchasing a vehicle just to complete a single event. A vehicle that is found in three events, on the other hand, is definitely worth buying.
  •  Never pay full price for a car (unless you have to). To get a car at 20% off, enter an event that features that car and has a car you already own. Race your car until the object of your affections is unlocked… and voila, 20% off!
  • Be patient! If you don’t need a car immediately, don’t buy it – sometimes cars go on sale for as low as half-price.
  • If you refuse to buy a car when offered, don’t worry — you will get that offer again if the car comes up in a different event — you can always get it then and complete both events, but DO NOT BUY A CAR JUST TO COMPLETE ONE SERIES!
  • When racing against AI “bots”, one strategy is to stay on the inside and out-brake them (they brake earlier than they need to) and pass on the inside. It is also possible to pass on the outside, but make sure that you have passed them before exiting the bend or they will run wide and hit you (if you’re lucky) or run you off the track (if you’re not).
  • Keep up with repairs; they are cheap and instantaneous. Perform maintenance as necessary, though some may be procrastinated if the benefit is small or the race will not need that quality. Do not upgrade a car unless you have to.
  • Know your tracks! Some tracks, like Melbourne and Brands Hatch have lots of turns with few long straights, while other like the Indianapolis Speedway (a.k.a. “Go Fast, Turn Left”) favor flat-out speed. This will influence which car is best for that track. This means practice, practice, practice.
  • Since you can always do a race again, it is possible to make money from re-doing a race you have already completed — a practice known as “Farming”.
  • Longer races make more money than shorter ones, and later races in an event make more money than earlier ones. Expect to make R$12,000-15,000 per race at this level.

Can’t win a race? Here are some pointers:

  • Choose the right car  for the track: Go for stability and cornering on short, twisty circuits, speed on longer ones.
  • If at first you don’t succeed… Races aren’t won, they are lost – by making mistakes that cost you speed, time and the gold trophy. A little tyre squeal is nothing to worry about, but the screeching of tyres is the sound of speed being lost.
  • …try, try, try again. if you can’t finish in the top three, finish last. That’s right, last! If you keep losing a race badly, enough times, the game will eventually handicap the other drivers by slowing them down, at which point you’ll be able to pass them much more easily. The quickest way to do this is to come last in an elimination race, which takes all of twenty seconds of staying in last place. Yes, this is “cheating”, but so is the behavior of some of the bots, as I will shortly explain…
  • Avoid running into the back of other cars; you will slow down, and they will take off like a rocket, a lose/lose proposition. Annoyingly, this does not happen when they rear-end you. Apparently you can change the laws of physics.
  • Auto-braking makes for an easy game but poor performance. Turn brake assist to low (or off completely, if you are feeling adventurous). This will allow you to out-brake your opponents in the turns – but don’t brake too late!
  • Learn the art of the inside bash, where you deliberately enter a bend a little too fast and “bounce” off another car instead of slowing down. Do it right and you won’t lose speed… but they go spinning off the track. Slimy, yet satisfying..!
  • Online? Go offline. The “matchmaking” routine does a good job of matching you up with challenging but beatable opponents, but sometimes it gets things spectacularly wrong, as the screen-shot below shows. This is especially true in “non-race races” such as “endurance”, “autocross” and “speed record” events. Going offline uses built-in AI drivers (Oddly, Modesto Lingerfelter etc), who are more predictable, and may give you the victory you need.
  • OIffline? Go online. This will change out the drivers. Sometimes the game will give you real-world drivers who are easier to pass.
  • Don’t give up too easily: Sometimes the leader will be so much faster than you that he is out of sight, and it feels like you ‘ll never catch him. Be patient, bots are not very clever when it comes to passing one another, particularly on narrow circuits like Melbourne and Suzuka. If you are lucky, the leader will get tangled in a bunch of cars on a corner while you sail serenely by.
  • If all else fails, you could always upgrade your car…
Endurance

Something tells me I’m not going to win this one…

Early-Game Walkthrough

  • The game begins with R$35000 in the bank and 20 Gold pieces in your pocket
  • Start with Pure Stock Challenge (like you have a choice)
  • Buy the Focus, NOT THE SILVIA! The Focus is a little more expensive, but being front-wheel-drive makes it handle better and corner a lot easier than the Nissan.
  • Race to finish in the first three. Do not worry about coming in first just yet, you can go back and “clean up” later.
  • You will not be able to afford the Silvia when you unlock it; don’t worry, you will get a chance later; besides, it is the cheapest car in the game.
  • Make sure you have at least R$35000 by the time you get 45% done,  so you can afford the Challenger R/T when it becomes available at a discounted price.
  • If you have been saving your money,  you should have enough money to buy the BMW when it is offered it at 20% off. Once upgraded, this is the best car in the series.
  • Go back and re-do earlier races until you have finished first in every event (except, of course, the Silvia Showcase).
  • By the time you reach the end of the series, you should have completed every race except the Nissan Silvia Showcase, and thanks to your two purchases, you should have also unlocked Global Production Pursuit (Dodge Challenger R/T), Coupe Clash (BMW), Road Car International (Focus) and V8 Muscle Hustle (Dodge Challenger R/T).
  • If you want to complete Pure Stock Challenge, go for Road Car International and unlock the Silvia at 20% off. This happens after only three races (9%), so make sure you have your money (R$23500) ready!
  • Once you have the Silvia, go back and do the Showcase. This is on the Indianapolis Speedway; the easiest track in the game, and a great candidate for taking off the training wheels (assists). Done right, it is an easy win, completing the Pure Stock Challenge and winning you $15000 and 15 Gold.
  • Where you go from here is up to you; the next logical choice is the Road Car International, since you now have two cars, but if you want to be adventurous and move up to faster vehicles, you can always do the V8 Muscle Hustle, which will bag you its bigger brother, the Challenger SRT8 (R$41,120) at 17%, the Camaro and the Shelby – four of the loveliest cars in the early game.
  • Make sure you snag the BMW Z4 M Coupe and the Ford Shelby GT500 at the earliest opportunity; each runs in four different events, making them the most useful cars in the game.

Make Money Fast!

For me, a gaming session consists of two things:

  • Career driving: Working through a series towards completion. Only work on one or two at a time, as you will need to accumulate the money to purchase discounted cars as they become unlocked.
  • Cash Accumulation: The last few races of a series are the most lucrative. One early-game favorite is the last race of Road Car International, which pays out more than $20k for about fifteen minutes of work. Another one is the last Hockenheim race in “Everyday Heroes”, R$18600 for in nine minutes. Although the payout of the latter is lower, it is a quicker race, and therefore a much more efficient way to make money.

Real Racing… RUINED

As a follow-up to my review of Real Racing 3, I was putting together a hints-and-tips article, called “Real Racing Revisited”. Sadly, before I could complete it, an updated version of the game came out… and they changed a bunch of stuff. The update – called the “Prestige” update, contained the following changes:

  • Two new carmakers: Bentley and Mercedes-Benz
  • A new Race Type – “Time Trials”
  • Lots of changes to the UI
  • Lots of changes to game mechanics.

The first and most obvious change is that the main screen has been redesigned; frankly I am not impressed. The developers have gone for eye candy at the expense of usability. For instance, it was possible to see six events on screen at once, Now you are lucky if you can see three. There is a lot more scrolling involved, and the scrolling is “damped” — before, you could go from top to bottom with a flick of a finger; That no longer works. The soul-patch-sporting graphic designers have been at work; events are brighter and bolder, but it is more difficult to read the names of the cars.

Main screen

Before

front new

After

Also, the car manufacturers have been re-ordered on the new cars screen; before they were in alphabetical order, now they appear to be ordered mundane to exotic, with Chevrolet and Nissan at the beginning and Pagani and McLaren at the end.

Time Mistrials

Personally I think that the “Time Trials” idea was a bad one, or more specifically a bad execution of a good idea. The problem is that with a time trial, there is no real winner or loser – it’s just about best lap times for a given car on a given track. That’s not to say that time trials are a bad idea or do not belong in this game, it’s just that they are not really “races”.

Each series now has additional races — one time trial for each vehicle. This means that most series now have up to four additional races. The bad news is that the events that you had previously completed are now only 89% complete. The good news is that once you have completed the (four) time trials for that event, you get another completion bonus. The weird news in all this is that you have to complete all races in first place to complete the series… EXCEPT the time trials… all you have to do is complete ’em.

In my opinion, TIme Trials are a wasted effort. Here’s what they should have done instead:

  • Practice Laps: Pick a car, pick a circuit and you get three laps with the track to yourself. It would be ok for the developers to charge you one Gold to do this.
  • Qualifying Laps: Before a race, you should have the ability to do up to three laps of the track to determine your position on the grid. This is how it’s done in real life. Again, they could charge you a Gold for this privilege.

Not as “Real” as it used to be

Perhaps the most annoying new feature is the concept of “drive points”. Each time trial uses one drive point, and they take time to “grow back” at a rate of one point every fifteen minutes. You start off with a limit of only two, and it costs two gold pieces to refill this bank, which is not unreasonable. What *is* unreasonable is that extending this limit is VERY expensive — at fifty gold, it is the price of a brand-new Corvette ZR-1. This seems like a cynical way to try to squeeze some money out of gamers.

drivepoints

Fifty gold? ARE YOU MAD?

Performance Rating

They also introduced the concept of “performance rating”, or “PR”, a numeric “benchmark” of a car’s performance. Upgrading your car raises its PR. This is a good thing. They then made PR a requirement for certain races — which means that you have to upgrade the car to the required PR whether you want to upgrade or not. This is a bad thing.

Penalty Box

Another new “feature” is the introduction of Off-Track Penalties. If any of your wheels strays from the track, you are charged a penalty, as well as the loss of speed from going off-track. You are also penalized if another car shunts you or runs into the back of you, neither of which could possibly be your fault.

Real Repairs, unreal Maintenance

Repairs and maintenance are now handled differently. Each race has an added “Clean Race Bonus”, and repairs are subtracted from this, which is not a bad thing; repairs are relatively cheap, and don’t cause any delays. However, in my opinion, the latest release has broken the Maintenance system.

In the previous version, maintenance was broken into categories; oil, engine, suspension, brakes and tyres — that “decayed” at different rates. Some high-performance cars needed an oil change after every race, but engines didn’t needed rebuilding so often. This was a close reflection of real-world racing vehicles. That approach has been abandoned in favor of a single green/orange/red scale.

maintenance old

Real Maintenance

newmaint2

not so real

This “all-or-nothing” approach is not only unrealistic, but represents an unnecessary “dumbing-down” of one of the features of the game that separated it from the competition. No more excitement trying one more race with iffy brakes or shaky suspension; no more putting off that oil change for one more race. One other casualty of the “all-or-nothing” approach is that a full maintenance cycle now takes hours instead of the three minutes for an oil change.

Locked Out

Previously, you could enter any series that you wished. If you didn’t already own a car racing in that series, you could jump in and buy one. This is no longer the case; many of the higher series are locked until you complete earlier series. This is irritating, but it is realistic; one cannot simply jump into a Formula One car and drive in the Monaco Grand Prix, you have to earn that right.

What is both irritating and realistic is that certain cars are locked, even if you have the money. This is not realistic – in the real world, you can buy whatever you can afford.

Another change is that the prize money has been reduced. This has irritated a lot of people. Here is an example ; my main “Money Race” is the “Road Car International” Grand Final race, a 12-to-14-minute five-lapper at the Suzuka Grand Prix circuit. Under version 1.1.2, the first-place payout is R$20700, before repairs and maintenance. Under the new version, the payout is a measly R$10250 on day one, plus a R$2135 “Clean Race” bonus.

But the new version also boasts a “Daily Race Bonus”. GREAT! Or is it? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Payout Daily Race Bonus Clean Race Bonus Total (1.2) Total (1.1.2)
Day 1: 10250 20% 2135 12385 20700
Day 2: 11135 30% 2135 13270 20700
Day 3: 11950 40% 2135 14085 20700
Day 4: 12800 50% 2135 14935 20700
Day 5: 17050 100% 2135 19185 20700
73860 103500

So under 1.2, your five-race payout goes from R$103500 to R$73860. And to add insult to injury, even after working your way up to the top-level bonus, you still earn R$1515 less per race. Thanks, but no thanks.

Real Failure

Summing up the changes, there is no doubt in my mind that the general intention here is to make you spend more money and earn less, presumably so that you can go running to the store to buy more R$.

Unlike many, I am actually a fan of the “freemium” model — where the game is free to download and play, and the developer makes money off the in-app-purchases (IAPs). I also like the idea of taxing the well-heeled and the impatient. I actually spent a few dollars on the game — I don’t actually need the money, but I like to support developers who make good products, and this is a beautifully-crafted game. But the fact is that they are asking too much money for IAPs: the cheapest package of R$  costs $2, which will buy you next to nothing; if you wanted to buy the most expensive car in the game, be prepared to shell out more than $50, which is waaay too much money to spend on a game. One idea would be to offer a “double-your-money for $10”, which would encourage gamers to actually do some work.

I believe that they would make far more more money if they aimed for $5 from the typical gamer, with $10 or $20 for the top-end ones. This is one of those situations where being too greedy can result in making less money. Asking for more than $50 in real-world money for one car is just ridiculous.

The bottom line is that the latest version (1.2) is really not worth upgrading to from 1.1.2; very little is new, and when you add in the reductions in prize money, the decreased realism and the lower up the negatives, they outweigh the positives. Before you upgrade, I recommend that you backup your APK, and also backup your profile, (which is at <storage>/Android/data/com.ea.games.r3_na/doc). This way you can roll back the app without losing all your money and cars. This directory contains all your progress and is removed if you uninstall the game, all of your progress is lost. I did not know this, and it cost me R$1.5 million and nineteen cars. I have started again, and this time I am learning from my mistakes.

The Good

  • New Cars!
  • Daily Race Bonus!
  • Clean Race Bonus!
  • Automagic Repairs!
  • Nicer Car Animation!

The Bad

  • Lower Payouts make it harder to compete without IAPs
  • Massively downgraded Maintenance model
  • Locked Events REQUIRE you to complete other events.
  • “Upgrade” makes it impossible to return to previous version without manually saving data or losing all progress
  • Drive Points: What the heck were they thinking?

The Ugly

  • Locked Cars that REQUIRE you to purchase unnecessary events
  • Brain-Dead “Performance Rating” (PR) system that REQUIRES you to upgrade a car whether you need to or not.
  • Longer Wait TImes
  • Prices in general are way too high. More than $50 to purchase one car? Give me a break…
  • Unfair Off-track penalties.

EA, you made a big mistake. One that will cost you.

“Revs” Reborn

Real Racing 3: A review

I am not much for racing games. Perhaps it is because most of them are either too realistic (i.e., I keep losing the race!) or not realistic enough, but on the other hand maybe it is simply because I love other genres (Flight Simulations, Space Strategy etc.) more. The last racing game I played — and still play, occasionally —  is “Pod Racer”, the Star Wars offering from some years ago (but is that really a racing game?). I have also occasionally dabbled in various flavors of “Need for Speed”, but never really got into it.

My introduction to the genre, however, goes all the way back to 1984, when I bought a BBC Model B Microcomputer. I remember the games that I played to death on this thing: Elite (the first “MegaGame” and mother of all Space sims), Phantom Combat (two-player head-to-head!) and Revs.

Revs was a Formula Three simulation. Not a game, it was a true simulation modeling the track layout of the Silverstone circuit, complete with bumps and hills — somehow packed into the “massive” 32 kilobytes of memory that was state-of-the-art way back in 1985. Featuring drivers with Pythonesque names like “Miles Behind”, “Max Throttle” and “Gloria Slap”, “Percy Veer”, “Hugh Jengine”, and “Johnny Turbo”, it is safe to say that I was addicted, even if I wasn’t particularly good at it.

Fast-forward twenty-eight years. I discovered Real Racing 3 and installed it on my Nexus 7. Installation is a time-consuming affair; the “Game” that you install from the Android Mark… er… Play Store is only a stub loader that downloads the full game, which weighs in at over a gigabyte, so make sure that you have enough room on your device before you start! The good news is that it is a “freemium” game – free to download and play, with In-App-Purchases (IAPs, which is how the publishers (Electronic Arts). For those of you who are passionately opposed to IAPs — i.e., cheapskates — I have to say that I have yet to spend a dime on this game. Yes, I am a cheapskate too…

front

Cars you have are listed in white. Cars you don’t are in gray.
Cars in red are in the shop….

Once loaded, you are presented with the main screen. This shows a collection of series, with the cars that are allowed to compete in each series. You start with enough cash to buy one of two cars – The Ford Focus RS or the Nissan Silvia (S15). You then race that car in a series (such as “Pure Stock Challenge”).

Series, Tiers and Races

Each series consists of over thirty races arranged as a series of “tiers” (usually fourteen). Each tier consists of one, two or three races. Most series have a list of cars (usually four) that can race in it.

Event

Completing a race in the first three places gets you a trophy. Completing a tier unlocks a later tier, and gets you a bonus of gold coins. You also get bonus coins and R$ for completing 25%, 50% and 75% of a series, with a big bonus at 100%.

psc100 (2)

Each series contains one “Showcase” race for each of the cars that can compete in that series. Unlocking a Showcase for a car you do not yet own gives you a one-off opportunity to buy that car at 20% off.

Off to The Races

There are several different types of race: From the easiest to the most difficult they are:

  • Drag Race: No steering, no braking, just gear changes — just change gears each time the rev counter hits the red-line. The first couple of times it will be confusing, but once you get the hang of this it is easy.
  • Speed Record: Get the highest speed that you can in one complete lap.
  • Head To Head: One opponent, one lap, one objective – win. So why does the game show the cars side-by-side and then gives opponent a head start?
  • Speed Snap. You start a short distance from the finish line. Your job is to cross it going as fast as possible.
  • Endurance: You begin with sixty seconds on the clock and a track full of cars. Passing a car gives you ten seconds. Completing a lap gives you a time bonus. Drive as far as you can before you run out of time.
  • Autocross: You are timed along a section of track. Shortest time wins.
  • Hunter: Catch and pass the hunted car, who starts with a head start. The distance between you at the end of the lap is what counts – greatest distance wins.
  • Elimination: You start as the last of eight cars. Every ten seconds, the car in last place is eliminated. Your job: stay out of last place…
  • Cup: The commonest, and in my opinion, the most of irksome of all the race types. You start the race at the back of a pack of twenty-two cars (sixteen for a showcase). To win, you must fight your way to the front. This is either really fun or really frustrating, depending on your car and the track… and whether or not you are out in front.
On the Track

Noooooo..!

The Tracks

Races take place at real-world tracks at venues all over the world. Some venues have more than one track: For instance, as well as its famous Speedway, Indianapolis also has a road course. Here are a few of them:

  • Indianapolis Speedway: Go fast, turn left. Lather, rinse and repeat. The fastest and easiest track in the game, and the best to practice basic handling.
  • Mount Panorama: Up the mountain, down the mountain. Some interesting bends and a bee-yootiful long downhill straight that never fails to put a smile on my face.
  • Silverstone: Ah, what memories. The home of British Formula One racing, with wide, sweeping curves and some luvverly straights. Three different tracks, all a pleasure to drive.
  • Brands Hatch: A short track with lots of bends to test your cornering and one half-way decent straight.
  • Hockenheim: And then there’s the Germans. A technical, challenging track, with more bends than… a very bendy thing. Another venue with different tracks.
  • Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps: As Jeremy Clarkson might say: “The French. Why did it have to be the bloody French?” Except that it is in Belgium…
  • Melbourne: The track I love to hate. A downtown street course with lots of turns and switchbacks. Lots of fun — I particularly like putting an opponent into one of the barriers, but one mistake can send *you* into the barriers and cost you the lead, if not the race.
Suzuka

Ah So…

Money! Money! Money!

There are two forms of currency in the game: Cash (R$), and Gold. You get cash for completing a race, and you spend it repairing and upgrading your cars, or buying new ones. Prices of cars range from R$28,800 for a Nissan Silvia (S15) to a whopping R$2,210,500 for the Koenigsegg Agera R.

Gold coins are given for completing tiers and series, and gold can be spent in three ways: First, some cars can only be purchased for gold: the McLaren MP4-12C is a bargain at a mere 65 Gold — a real poor-man’s supercar. Second, some upgrades can only be purchased for gold. But the commonest use for gold is to use it shorten the wait times for maintenance and upgrades — the longer the delay, the more gold coins are required. I consider this to be a waste of coins — I have never done it (except once, when I hit the button by accident).

Other reviews have bitterly derided the freemium model in general and this particular implementation of it in particular, but I think they are being unfair. Think of it as a tax on impatience: if you have multiple cars, it is a simple thing to jump into another car and race it while the work is being done. And if you have only one car, you will have to learn a little patience until you buy a second car (you’ll be buying one anyway). Some maintenance can be delayed for a while, and if you time it right you can queue up a bunch of maintenance items at bedtime. As I mentioned earlier, I have not paid a dime to play this game, and at the time of writing I have thirteen cars and over three quarters of a million dollars in the bank. So quit whining already!

Assists: Driving a high-performance racing car is far from easy. The cars are twitchy and temperamental, and so are some of their drivers. Fortunately the game provides some relief in the forms of Steering Assistance, Braking Assistance and Traction Control. With all assists on, the car is docile and predictable, with few skids and little drama. Turn the assists off, though and you get much better performance, at the expense of a lot more work. You have to be intimately familiar with every bend of the track, entry, acceleration and exit points, and the best racing lines if you want to bring home the medals — and your car — in one piece.

So… what’s it like?

The graphics are, to put it bluntly, lovely. The road detail is enough to give a sense of “ground rush” when traveling at high speed. Cut a corner, and you will see your tire marks at that spot the next time you pass by.Your car rocks and rolls during extreme maneuvering. Each car sounds, feels and handles differently, and after driving a car for a while you get a feel for when the tyres are about to lose their grip. I can’t see how they could possibly improve in this department.

The game’s most-touted feature — “Time-Shifted Multiplayer” is, im my opinion, it’s Achilles’ Heel. The idea is sound enough; model the real-world performance of real-world players so you can compete against your friends. The problem is that you end up competing against experts who are well-nigh-unbeatable. These are folks who are extremely good at the game and drive with all assists off – and presumably have way too much time on their hands, and. This makes for an inherently unfair race without some kind of handicapping system. Fortunately there is a solution — play the game with network access switched off. This forces the game to load the default robodrivers. More about that later.

The driver modelling is one of the few area that needs improvement. Some of the cars are occasionally impossibly fast. For instance, you are driving a fully-upgraded car down a straight. Next to you is another model of the same car… and he is pulling away from you. I call this “what-the-hell-is-he-driving?” syndrome. Fortunately it does not happen often, and the “enemy” will usually slow down enough at the next corner for you to catch up, but this tells me that the driver models need tweaking. It is a minor nit; re-doing the same race is often enough to get you into the winner’s circle.

Repairs, Maintenance and Upgrades — Oh My!

At the end of each race, you will have the opportunity to repair, maintain and upgrade your vehicle. Repairs are cheap and immediate, and should always be done. Maintenance (Oil Changes, Tyre Replacements, suspension work, Engine Rebuilds and Brakes) should also be done when their performance starts to deteriorate, but these take time, depending on the amount of work required.  This can range from two minutes for an oil change on a low-end car to hours for an engine rebuild on a supercar. When you only have one car, this can be a pain… but when you have a bunch of cars in your garage, you can simply hop in another one and go racing while the mechanics do their thing with the magic spanners.

Because of the delay in performing maintenance, you may wish to delay it under certain circumstances. If, for instance,  there is a minor penalty to cornering and you are about to race on a track where cornering ability is not that important (like the Indianapolis Speedway), you might want to put it off. Or you might want to leave it until you can do several maintenance items at once.

My Cars

Upgrades are another matter entirely. They are both expensive and time-consuming to complete. It is a good idea to order your upgrades when you have finished playing for a while. Both repairs and upgrades can be completed immediately by spending gold. Strangely, while repairs on a car have to be done in a queue (in series), multiple cars can be worked on in parallel. This makes no sense — you either have a limited number of mechanics or not…

I have one bone to pick with the developers: Why in the name of all that it is holy did you insist on FaceBook as the *sole* vehicle for the social aspect of the game? I can only assume that FaceBook must have offered Electronic Arts a big pile of money to make FaceBook the *only* option for multiplayer. I would love to play this game against some real people, but creating a FaceBook account just to play a game is something I will not do.

Supercar

The Poor Man’s Supercar

Driver Level: As well as cash, each completed race gives you “Fame” points. Get enough of these and your driver gains a level — and some Gold. Every fifth level you will also get a pithy little inspirational message.65The Good

  • Graphics
  • Realism
  • Fun!
  • Free!

The Bad

  • Too many similar cars! For instance, BMW has the 1 Series M Coupe (R$59,800), the Z4 M Coupe (R$62,900), the M3 Coupe (R$84,600), Z4 Sdrive35is (R$89,700), M3 GTS (R$118,700), M6 Coupe (R$ 127,700), Z4 GT3 (R$457,000) and M3 GT2 Alms (R$654,000). Porsche, with the 911 GT3 RS (R$172,700), 911 GT3 RS 4.0 (R$185950), 911 GT3 Cup (R$265,500), Carrera GT (R$449,800), 918 RSR Concept (G150) and 918 Spyder Concept (R$845,000) are similar offenders. This is why it is so important to know which cars you need, and which ones are just “Red Herrings” put in my the developers to get you to waste your money.
  • Driver models need tweaking. If you rear-end somebody, they take off and you slow down. But if they rear-end you, you slow down. And they pass you. Not clever.
  • Too many temptations to spend money on stuff you don’t need. This may be intentional.
  • No Track Layout, Maps, Practice laps, or guides to maximum speeds.
  • No qualifying laps — you always start in last place.
  • Some don’t like “Freemium”, but it doesn’t bother me.

The Ugly

  • FaceBook! UGH!

The Verdict:

I have not enjoyed a racing game this much in more than two decades. It is beautifully designed and horribly addictive. Unlike most racing games, it also teaches some life skills, such as patience (maintenance takes time, upgrades take more time and buying a car takes still more time to have it delivered) and budgeting (if you are impatient, you will run out of money real fast, at which point the game becomes a grind). The key to prosperity is thinking ahead and delaying immediate gratification; play your cards right and you should be able to buy every car (except your first) at a discount.