Published on June 27th, 2013 | by Kristian Ivanov0
CSR Racing Review
CSR Racing is a freemium drag-racing game published by Natural Motion Games.
In the game, your objective is to participate in one-on-one drag races so you can earn money for new cars and upgrades, which will allow you to compete with higher tier opponents and eventually challenging crew leaders for their city territory.
The race mechanics are fairly simple. You try to start the race with your engine in as close to perfect RPM as possible to gain a head start, then you just shift gears, hopefully at the right time to gain a slight speed boost or if you do it too early or too late reduce your speed gain. After a couple of races you’ll also be able to purchase and use a nitrous boost that will help you compensate for any early or late gear shifts you might have made during the race. An average race lasts roughly 13 to 24 seconds.
Every 24 hours, you also get to participate up to three times in special races that allow you to try out random cars without owning them.
To be able to race, you’ll need to have gas. The maximum amount you can stack is 10 gas cans, once you run out, you’ll have to wait a while for them to be refilled. The ones that are less patient also have the option to watch a short video ad for a gas can, which makes it really easy to just keep racing without paying.
As far as design goes, on first look game appears to be a clone of a game by Creative Mobile by the name of “Drag Racing”, but it offers multiple changes that allow it to distinguish itself as a separate and superior game. The game features a big list of licensed, highly detailed 3D car models, each with the option to repaint it, put decals and even a custom license plate. While the menus and cars might look good, the game in motion during a race is where the game excels. The developers used a really effective combination of blurred textures, dynamic camera angles and shaking to give the players a sense of real speed, which not many games are able to do. Actually, I’m a big fan of the way they handle the camera…if you’re too far behind, it moves the angle to show your car from the rear, giving you a better view forward, if you’re far ahead of the opponent, it moves to give you a better view back…and if you’re too close to each-other, the camera moves to show both cars’ hoods and the small lead you or the opponent has.
The game doesn’t really feature a big selection of music…actually, it only offers you one single music track, used in the menus, however it does fit the theme of the game pretty well. During races, you’ll only get to hear the cars’ engines, which sound pretty good and since the races themselves are quite short, putting music wouldn’t have made sense.
Last but not least, I’d like to add a few words about the business model. Being it a freemium game, it will obviously offer some sort of IAP. In the game, they decided to make several cars purchasable with real money only. This might seem bad at first, but after playing for a couple of weeks now, I find that the cars themselves are pretty well balanced and I haven’t encountered any situation where I was forced to buy one of those cars. Other things you can buy with real money include: a few of the decals, the custom license place and speeding up upgrade and car delivery. I personally have no problems or issues with their monetization…its well thought out and fair with the players.
Overall, this game surprised me. I was expecting a big disappointment by a gimmicky game, but I found myself playing what is a pretty cool lunch break racing game. Between good gameplay, great graphics and fair monetization, this is a game I personally recommend.
Summary: CSR Racing offers a great combination of good gameplay, outstanding graphics and a freemium business model.