PadRacer

Back in the day there was this arcade game where you could challenge three friends to race you. The game had four free-spinning steering wheels, a gas pedal, and no brakes. PadRacer has brought that game back in the first “phone-to-pad” arcade game. Instead of the steering wheel, the racer is controlled using an iPhone or iPod Touch while watching the race action, top-down style, on the iPad. And like the original, there’s still no brakes! This makes the game simple enough for a kid to pick up and play right away, but requires some practice to really master it.

There are currently three tracks included in the game, each with varying levels of difficulty. (Three more tracks are coming, according to the developer.) The first track is fairly simple, and what I would consider the beginner track. The toughest spot on this one is the S turn in the middle. The second track offers more curves than straight-aways, so it’s a tad challenging to the newbie. The third track is the simplest of the three, but the developer added two oil slicks to make it more challenging.

Other players can join in by downloading the free racing controller app. Connecting to a game is simple and straightforward, the controller finds the local game and let’s you join in. The iPhone or iPod Touch shows you a close-up view of your car, letting you know which color you are. Unfortunately, you can’t choose your car. PadRacer is a great two, three, or four person game, but I found no way to race against the computer or just practice alone. This is a disappointing omission.

The developers kept PadRacer simple… there are no settings to be found. Simply select your track and race. The view is static, as it should be, so the graphics are also relatively simple, but not hard to look at. The race cars are fun old-school, open-wheeled racers, reminiscent of the Monopoly game piece.

The developers of PadRacer seem to be active in updating the app regularly, and appear to be listening to their fans for suggestions. I think this app will be one to evolve and continuously be a fan favorite.