iPod freebies: Racing weekend
Four very different kinds of racing game, all free this weekend.
Whatever your preferred method of zooming around on roads, there should be something here for you.
Left to right, first up is Racing Glory. This is a game in the rotating-track style that's very popular in Japan (it was especially big on the PC Engine), featuring old-school 1930s racing cars that appear to be made out of tin but can happily bash each other all over the track without suffering any damage. The controls are lively, and once you get used to the rotation you'll be zipping round the tracks at speed, battling CPU opposition that puts up a decent fight.
In the middle we've got Race 'Em Home from the rather odd Zoo Manager collection, an altogether different proposition involving tilting the screen to collect zoo animals in a pickup truck while avoiding increasing numbers of obstacles. To be honest, the appeal of this one is mostly in the huge teetering tower of critters you can build in the back of the truck, but it's cute, there are online leaderboards and it'll keep the kids or the hungover quiet.
Finally there's Kamikaze Race, a Road Fighter-looking dodging game in which you hurtle up a busy highway for as long as you can without crashing. Overpasses add a challenging spatial-memory element, and while it could really do with a slider-control option rather than virtual buttons it's an exciting affair with a bunch of achievements to earn (like surviving through 30 seconds of oncoming traffic), and plays a bit like a stripped-down overhead version of the first Burnout.
If you'd prefer a bit of off-roading, Dirt Moto Racing might be more up your alley. It has the nicest tilt control of any traditional 3D-type racer I've seen on the iPod, and even the tiresome stunt-pulling that people inexplicably feel obliged to add to any sort of extreme-sport game is kept to a bare and unobtrusive minimum. The lengthy tutorial is a bit of a drag, and you know what's coming with the music, but once you're into the actual racing DMR is a lot more enjoyable than I usually find this kind of thing.
Plenty of fun to be had, zero cash to be spent. Spoil yourself.