Game Reviews

Rail Racing

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| Rail Racing
Rail Racing
| Rail Racing

It may just be a case of racing cars fixed on single tracks, but Scalextric demands a surprising amount of skill - as anyone who has played with a set will attest.

Rail Racing manages to capture the same challenge while adding in extra complexity to create a pleasantly addictive title.

While you won't have to worry about your car spinning off the track and embedding itself into someone's ankle here - a common danger with Scalextric racing - you do have to regulate your pace to avoid losing time on the corners.

Another big difference is that you're not restricted to a single lane - you can make your car jump from lane to lane, and this proves to be a vital tactic when it comes to beating your oppoonents.

Speed demon

Lane-changing allows you to skip past cars and overtake them, and if you're driving side-by-side a quick lane-change will "tackle" the adjacent car, causing them to slow a little. There are speed boosters - and reducers - located on the track as well, and you'll need to hit the former and avoid the latter to be truly successful.

Stars are awarded for finishing in the top three places in each race, and you can unlock additional race locations by earning a certain amount. Coins collected during races can be used to unlock new vehicles, but one of the most important elements in the game - perks such as speed boots or additional grip - can only be acquired by spending real cash.

Races are short affairs, which is a blessing as it sometimes takes a few goes for you to learn the right strategy. The fast pace means that it's sometimes difficult to spot upcoming speed boosts and you'll need to rely on memory.

Later in the game, the temptation to purchase perks to get the best results becomes immense, but it's just about possible to progress based on pure talent alone.

Off the rails

Single-player races are supplemented by online challenges where you can compare lap times with other players. There's also a Hot Lap mode which has to be unlocked using an in-app purchase. While these additional modes are all well and good, it's the solo campaign which will eat up most of your time.

Rail Racing looks and sounds great, and boasts more depth than you might expect from a title based on a toy where cars driving along a single line. However, the enhancements to the core concept made by developer Polarbit result in an enjoyable speed-fest which is only slightly undermined by a heavy-handed reliance on in-app purchases.

Rail Racing

More exciting than the real-life racing sets on which it is based, Rail Racing is a surprisingly stern test of your driving skills, but the focus on in-app purchases is unfortunate
Damien  McFerran
Damien McFerran
Damien's mum hoped he would grow out of playing silly video games and gain respectable employment. Perhaps become a teacher or a scientist, that kind of thing. Needless to say she now weeps openly whenever anyone asks how her son's getting on these days.