It's like the '80s never left us. From pixel-perfect ports of gaming classics to retro-inspired originals, the App Store is practically a haven for 8-bit arcade nostalgia. But here's the thing: you can chuck as many old skool pixels in as you like, but it's all for naught if your game lacks heart.
That's where the original Final Freeway scored big. Quite obviously inspired by Sega's classic OutRun, it perfectly captured the simple thrills of the open-top arcade racer, crossing modern-day touchscreen controls with an affectionate retro aesthetic.
Incredibly, Final Freeway 2R manages to improve its note-perfect arcade experience in just about every way - mainly by pilfering Sega's classic racing series even further.
This time, branching pathways are in: 14 possible race segments offer everything from snaking canyons and sprawling suburbs to sun-drenched beaches and rain-swept freeways.She's got the look
It's been given a flawless retro makeover, too, with the first game's slightly bizarre mishmash of assets transformed into beautifully evocative pixel-art. Even the song selection recalls the timelessly infectious ditties of Sega's franchise, offering up the perfect accompaniment to those hair-flapping, tire-squealing thrills.
Of course, pure nostalgia wouldn't cut it if the core racing experience wasn't much cop. Thankfully, Final Freeway 2R absolutely nails that as well.
For a start, it's unbelievably fast. Scenery streaks by, with hair-raising bends and furious traffic-dodging delivering a breathless exercise in observation and reaction. That's especially true on harder difficulties, where brutal time limits demand near flawless control of your vehicle.
Happily, Final Freeway 2R's tilt controls are more than up to the job. They're smooth, responsive, and add that extra touch of immersion to the already invigorating old skool action.
Should you absolutely detest tilt, though, there's just about every control permutation you could ask for, alongside Game Center achievements and a comprehensive set of high score leaderboards.
It's tough to resist the charms of Final Freeway 2R. With its effortless mix of modern-day gaming gloss and classic lo-fi thrills, this is exhilarating arcade racing purity at its finest.