Some of us like Pepsi and others a can of RC, but there's nothing like the real thing. Like a bottle of Coca Cola, Real Racing is an effervescent taste of simulation racing that is as classic as it is inventive.

A refreshing reminder of the platform's enormous potential, this slick racer won't convert an arcade daredevil into a simulation stalwart much in the same way you can't convince a Pepsi lover to down a Coke. Instead, Real Racing is a sophisticated, focused game that hits the spot.

Career mode has you working through 18 series across a dozen tracks and a trio of difficulty classes. Qualifying events gear you up for the main cups, each of which include three races. Cups comes in three flavours: hatch, sedan, and muscle. New cups are unlocked by finishing in the overall top three, which also rewards you with new cars. Vehicles aren't licensed nor are they customisable, though its the omission of the latter that deserves address.

The absence of customisation, whether superficial or performance-related, detracts from the game's authentic appeal. Real Racing unquestionably nails realism in its controls and visuals, but needs to extend this element to include some form of performance tuning or personalised livery. While the absence of this feature doesn't detract from the actual racing, it does prevent the game from shifting into high gear.

Realism remains a hallmark of this phenomenal racer, though it's derived from tight controls, astonishing graphics, and challenging computer competitors. A suite of control schemes ensure a variety of functional options from full tilt steering with automatic acceleration to full touch control with manual acceleration. While the default tilt steering scheme is preferred, each method has been fine-tuned for superior control.

That same level of polish has been levelled on the graphics, which are without question the best of any iPhone game yet. Real Racing establishes a lofty new standard in visual fidelity that goes beyond slick 3D graphics; the ability to flip between two camera angles (cockpit view and third-person view) and stylish integration of interface elements like the speedometer and lap counter in cockpit view bring sophistication to the game.

Racing against a slate of computer-controlled cars is far from a joy ride, though. Even in the earliest stages, the competition is tough. Opponents drive intelligently, preserving speed and navigating courses cautiously. Advancing from the lowest C class of events, the races become markedly harder. Unlike the casual crash-and-bash competition of other racers, Real Racing demands skill.

Of course, that's even more pertinent when venturing online to post time trials, contribute to a league, or even testing the mettle of friends in local wireless races. Real Racing revs up an impress list of network features that truly advances the genre on mobile, even if the promise of full online racing isn't realised here.

The invention of leagues affords an enormous amount of replay value, motivating continued return to the game long after you've burned through Career mode. Local wireless races offer real-time competition, though leagues are more compelling.

Real Racing provides an enormous amount of gameplay between single player and connected modes, yet it's the quality of its gameplay that proves to the real driver of value here. Ample options, impressive visuals, and fine-tuned handling ensure each second spent racing revs up more than just a digital engine but the excitement of playing the platform's best racer to date.