Rally Master Pro is truly the Michael Schumacher of mobile racing games (if you’ll excuse me mixing up disciplines for a second).
A stunning and unbeatable racer back in the Java championships in 2008, securing no-less than a Pocket Gamer Platinum Award, it had a wonderful send-off competing in the iOS leagues in 2009, emerging just-shy of the title against significantly stiffer competition.
Now the old veteran is out of retirement for one last hurrah in the Symbian^3 league, and while it may have lost some of the cutting-edge atmosphere that made it such a fierce competitor in the past, it’s still worth taking for a spin.
Master of ceremonies
Controlled via the accelerometer and touchscreen (for the pedals), Rally Master Pro comes with three different courses, spread out across 27 individual stages lasting around about a minute and a half each.
Each course follows a similar pattern – they all start in the green hills of Somewhereville and end up winding around sharp, jagged canyons of Dustyroadtown. I possibly made both of those names up.
While it may lack official licenses, or even stage names, Rally Master Pro makes up for it with its ambition on the track, with a backend that appreciatively skids out from behind you and feels different to drive in the varying weather conditions.
Area of natural beauty
The weather effects are one of the areas where Fishlabs’s typical visual panache is evident, along with a smooth-as-silk framerate and one of the best damage modelling systems I’ve seen on a mobile racer (since the last time Rally Master Pro was out on track, at least).
Picking up this damage is a little strange, though – running just a smidgeon off the track incurs an unrealistically high amount of wear and tear – but at least it heightens the tension of the brief stages.
After every second complete stage you have the option of fixing the incurred damage by taking part in one of four mini-games, ranging from tightening wheel nuts (by tapping at correct times) to re-wiring electrics (by rotating cables).
They’re a little brief and easy, but that they’re included at all makes a change from the rest of the package, which is sadly lacking substance.
This is because there’s not much else other than the three courses, and even these look nigh-on identical bar the track layout and the weather.
There’s no choice when it comes to cars, no multiplayer (leaderboards or ghosts), no tuning or driving aids due to the fun but rigid handling model, barely any sound (not even an engine noise), and not much in the way of single-player structure either.
It’s still a fun little rally game, with some attractive graphics and enjoyable power-sliding, but Rally Master Pro is starting to show its age against the younger competitors in terms of its content.