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DrawRace 2 Review
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DrawRace 2, the follow-up to the top-down, line-drawing racer developed by RedLynx and published by Chillingo, has just been released and is available from the app store. While the original impressed us with its fun visuals, stellar controls, and flat-out addicting gameplay, the reboot takes each of these components to a whole new level.

DrawRace 2 Pros:

  • Graphical reboot looks amazing
  • Tight controls
  • Great soundtrack
  • Lots of unlockable cars and tracks, 180 challenges in all
  • Plenty of game modes, including great multiplayer options
  • Crystal and GameCenter integration for friend challenges, global leaderboards, and achievements

DrawRace 2 Cons:

  • Much more precise on the iPad than the iPhone

DrawRace 2 contains 4 modes of play: Career, Multiplayer, World League, and Friend Challenge. Career mode takes you through 5 levels of difficulty, starting from Rookie and working your way to Elite. There are 12 tracks to race in each level, with 3 medal races on each lap. The first race of the three pits you against a single opponent; the second adds a racer and the third adds another. By the final race, the skill level of the racers has improved as well. Earning gold medals will unlock the next track, new vehicles, and eventually the other three game modes. There are 180 challenges in all. Multiplayer gives you pass-and-play functionality on the same device, while World League allows you to take on racers from all over the world. It’s interesting to note that the game automatically pairs you with two racers of a lower skill level and one from a higher level. Friend Challenges utilize GameCenter to invite your buddies to race against a ghost of one of your runs. When a player beats the ghost, the other racer receives a notification, allowing him to go back and attempt to reclaim his crown.

DrawRace 2 takes a unique approach when it comes to the actual racing. Instead of putting you behind the wheel, you use your finger to trace out your racer’s route before the start of the race using a single continuous line. The speed of your line tracing impacts the speed of the car, with slower and more deliberate movements resulting in more cautious driving or braking. The line color changes to give you visual cues regarding your speed, and engine noises/tire screeching give audio cues. Despite your careful drawing, the track type (ice, dirt, etc.) can still cause you to spin out or slide off of the track, and taking turns too fast can easily put you into a wall or initiate a powerslide that can bring your speedy racer to a standstill. There are a lot of different factors to consider, and you must work this all out while considering line-drawing speed and finger location. It’s a brilliant mechanic that will have you hooked instantly, especially with the addition of the Turbo button in this iteration. A rechargeable turbo boost is available by tapping on the large red button in the bottom right corner, which could spell the difference between snatching victory and watching your opponent walk off with the win. Use of the button also requires you to consider factors like position and momentum, as you can turn a fast, tight turn into a wide, tire-screeching bottleneck in an instant. Proper use, however, can actually help you to overcome a difficult spot and put you into the winner’s circle.

As impressive as the tweaked and improved controls are, the all-new 3D graphics scream polish and pizzazz. While the original version uses a lot of basic colors, slightly cartoonish visuals, and just enough detail to give it a nice look (think Flight Control), DrawRace 2 has cranked the presentation up to 11 with a highly-detailed, realistic look that’s drool-worthy. The 36 track types are awesome, offering more than just flat gray asphalt and pale green “grass” to enhance the experience. Ramps and slopes are terrific additions that offer a new challenge. Vehicle types vary across several attributes, making one more appropriate than another for the track type and race style. The lighting effects are awesome and add a lot to the overall aesthetic. Even the menus have a much improved interface that ties the whole project together. The soundtrack is terrific, with a beautiful piano score playing over the menus and a rocking track to provide backing during races. Realistic engine sounds and all of the other expected racing sounds help to create a highly immersive experience. Controls are strictly touch-based, using line-drawing to create your route and button taps to boost yourself to victory.

Replay value is terrific, as you can always find a way to shave precious moments off of your track times to challenge others for supremacy on the GameCenter/Crystal leaderboards. The multiplayer modes and Friend Challenge offer a ton of real-world competition even after you’ve mastered the Career mode. We’re very impressed with the way RedLynx took a game that we thought was outstanding when it was released and absolutely blew the doors off for the sequel. An incredible value at $0.99 (or $2.99 for the HD version), DrawRace 2 is flat-out, 5-Dimple fun.

DrawRace 2 Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-09-03T11:24:06+00:00 rating 5.0 out of 5

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