Games like Mario Kart and WipEout gave the "combat racing" genre mainstream popularity, but in the years since those games first appeared we've seen precious little experimentation in this area - until now.

While Delta-V Racing is hardly rewriting the rulebook, its switch from 3D to 2D gives it a unique feel which allows it to stand out from other racers.

The game comprises 36 events spread across four leagues. Race events are a battle for first place, but there are other modes - such as Elimination and Hot Lap - which tinker with the rules slightly.

Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded in each event, and unlocking other events often requires you to replay previous challenges to score a better medal and earn more points. Cash earned during each race can be spent on better vehicles.

Wiped out

The tracks themselves are cramped twisting corridors littered with weapon and 'speed' icons. Collecting a 'weapon' icon lights up a selection at the bottom of the screen, and picking up further icons moves you onto the next selection choice - a similar mechanic to the one seen in Konami's classic Gradius series.

Weapons include missiles, machine guns, lasers, and mines, and each one can be activated by tapping the screen during the race. Keeping your opponents in check requires you to use these items wisely.

Speed icons boost your ship's acceleration, allowing you to catch up with distant rivals or put some distance between yourself and the chasing pack. There are also slow-down icons which should be avoided in most cases, but come in very handy during the special "Sector" events, where your objective is to stay alive for as long as possible and avoid collisions with walls.

Pick your weapon

Beating all of the events is incentive enough to keep playing, but Delta-V Racing is incredibly well integrated with Game Center, allowing you to keep track of how your friends are doing. Nothing spurs you on to greater heights quite as much as seeing that one of your close pals has set an incredible lap time.

Delta-V Racing might seem like it is simplifying the combat racing genre by limiting it to just two dimensions, but its skilful fusion of racing and side-scrolling shooting comes off beautifully, making it one of the most interesting games of its kind on the App Store.