There are hundreds of racing games available on the App Store these days, but none similar to Bravo Game Studios’ latest title Touch Racing Nitro. As the name suggests, Touch Racing Nitro implements an innovative control system that I’ve yet to see in any other racing game on the iPhone. The question is though, can Touch Racing Nitro’s unique control system race the game to the top of the App Store, or will the game stall on the starting-line?

The direction and speed of your car is controlled by using a single finger instead of the usual accelerometer tilting and accelerate/brake pedals. The further away from your car you place your finger on the screen, the faster the car will go, and therefore you move your finger towards your car in order to slow down. Moving your finger onto the opposite side of the track at the correct time is essential to making your car drift around the corner perfectly and not slide off the track. If you do end up getting stuck or facing the wrong way, you can double tap the reset button and you’ll be placed back on the track where you originally crashed. Taping the screen with a second finger ignites a short boost of nitro which propels your car forward, allowing you to take advantage of long straights and nip past your opponents. You start with 3 nitro boosts for each race and can pick up more throughout by driving over nitrous pick-ups.

The control system is the main talking point of the game and will certainly take some time to get used to; however, when mastered, whipping your car around the track and taking corners to perfection is really satisfying and can be extremely fun. There are 3 difficulty settings in the game which all have an effect on the car’s handling. Beginner difficulty results in your opponents being “kind” and your speed being Automatic, and therefore you only have to worry about accelerating and steering, not braking. The second difficulty level entitled ‘Driver’ still gives you “kind” opponents to race against but this time your speed is manual so you have to bring braking into the equation, and the final difficulty level is called ‘Ace’ where you have to deal with both “Hard” difficulty opponents and manual speed. The beginner difficulty level is a great addition to the game as it allows people who aren’t quite confident with the controls to still play the game and compete.

There are 3 tournaments to master with each consisting of 6 races. You compete against 3 A.I drivers and earn points depending on how well you finish, and the racer with the highest combined points at the end of the 6 races will be crowned winner of the tournament; a formula you’ve seen a thousand times before. The brilliant aspect of tournament mode is the fact that every single race takes place on a new track and this stops boredom from creeping in to the game. That’s 18 tracks overall in the game and each track is well designed, consisting of tons of jumps, nitrous pick-ups and tight corners to drift around. There’s plenty of variety in the design of the tracks to make it feel like you’re facing a new challenge each time. Progressing through the tournaments unlocks new cars and liveries for your use and this is a nice incentive to complete and keep playing the game.

Time Trial mode is available for when you have completed the 3 tournaments and want to improve your time. You can only use tracks in Time Trial mode which you’ve raced on in Tournament mode however and this adds an incentive to complete all 3 tournaments. A nice addition to Time Trial mode is the fact that you can race against a ghost car which represents your best lap time on the track. The ghost car can help you push yourself to shave that extra second or two off your best lap. The A.I and ghost cars are the only cars you’ll be racing against unfortunately, due to the lack of any multiplayer modes and this is a real shame. 4-way Multiplayer over Wifi would be great fun and I hope Bravo Game Studios consider adding this in the future.

Touch Racing Nitro is a gorgeous game to look at with its fully 3D environments and fine textures. Smoke coming from the cars exhaust is a nice touch along with the blur effect when you use a nitrous boost and the shadow shown underneath your car as it flies over a jump. The framerate never seems to drop either which is a great achievement when you consider the fast pace of the game and the games high calibre graphics. Touch Racing Nitro has an upbeat soundtrack which will neither grab your attention nor annoy you to the extent of putting you off the game and therefore it does its job well.

In Conclusion

Touch Racing Nitro can be a fun racing game if you have the patience to master a new control system, which can be difficult and frustrating at first. If you have the patience needed and are a fan of racing games, or are looking for an innovative title like little else, I recommend picking Touch Racing Nitro up at its current price of $3.99. If racing isn’t your favorite genre or you aren’t looking for a challenge, give Touch Racing Nitro a miss or wait for a significant price drop.