So, for those uninitiated, there is a certain sub-genre of racing games almost exclusively focused on drag racing that have, in recent years, popped up on the varied mobile-app gaming platforms. Racing Rivals, developed by renowned tablet and mobile gaming company, Cie Games, is one of these kinds of racing games and it is one of the best on the market. What separates a game like Racing Rivals from a lot of other similarly themed driving games is its simplicity and streamlined game play. In fact, to many players unaccustomed with this particular genre it may even seem too similar given that the player cannot even steer their respective vehicle. However, what makes Racing Rivals more than just a mere simulator are two distinct things, car customization and boosting.
When a race begins the player’s car will be shown side by side with the opponent (either a NPC or other online character), and then the race will begin and both cars will automatically start driving. As stated before the player will not have control over the movement of the car, however, you will be able to control when your car accelerates. Much like many popular fighting games, such as Tekken or Street Fighter, a small bar made up of little blue orbs can be found at the lower left corner of the screen. This bar acts as your accelerator indicator and once the bar turns green the player can hit the accelerator for a massive speed boost. This is easily the most important mechanic in the game as proper timing is key, if you hit the booster too early you will nearly always lose, if you hit it at just the right time (once you are reaching the finish line) it can grab victory from the jaws of defeat. However, it does require quite good reflexes, as the time-window for acceleration is extremely small and once it passes you will have missed out on a chance to blast beyond your opponent.
The game is completely free to play but does offer up a few special perks to those willing to buy into the premium version. However, Racing Rivals is far from “Pay-to-Win” as they say, as the premium version merely provides more cars than the free to play version. This doesn’t impact the game very much as the cars within the game are not very different from each except in terms of appearance. In the beginning of the game the player is able to choose between 3 different car models, once chosen the player is locked into that car from the duration of their campaign play-through. Cars may be upgraded with in game currency (gems) which the player acquires via winning races. In summary, Racing Rivals is a very solid game and definable a must try for car buffs (as all in-game vehicles are based upon real world car models) but should probably be avoided by those who dislike repetitive (it is drag racing after all), reaction-timing based games.