Attention fans of Nikko RC cars! Nikko RC Racer lets you choose from and drive 10 actual RC cars. Have the game developers, Paladin Studios, brought back those childhood days of old? Or will you feel nothing for Nikko RC Racing?

Nikko RC Racer is free to play, but as with all free games there is a catch that involves money. You start with only two cars unlocked. This gives you enough to work with to get a good idea on whether or not the other cars are worth the purchase or if the game goes into the trash bin.  One more vehicle can be unlocked by “Liking” a page on Facebook and the rest can be unlocked for $0.99, or as a grab-bag containing all of them for $2.99. That’s very reasonable pricing, and these cars are the only thing that requires purchasing, but if you actually want to experience more of the game it feels like a must to purchase the cars. Choosing between just two vehicles gets boring fast.

There are nine levels to race through and each level is easily unlocked just by completing the one before. However, all the levels take place in a park, making them feel very same-y. A park bench and a bridge are the same to look at even if it is in a different place along the track or has a barricade in front of it. These levels may technically be different from each other, but they sure feel the same. The visuals are decent enough, as is the music, but neither are anything to write home about.

The purpose of the race is to hit certain check points and finish as quickly as possible, occasionally utilizing short­-term boosts you can collect. There are three different control schemes -- which is very nice, but none of which are all that great to use. They tend to be extremely twitchy, so expect to spend a lot of your time going backwards to get out of a pit you drove into, or trying to maneuver away from the wall you’ve trapped yourself against. Also, part of the appeal of many racing games is that you get such a great feeling of speed once you’re really moving -- even less realistic games like Mario Kart let you haul butt -- and Nikko RC Racer doesn’t deliver even one iota of fast-moving action. Since you’re driving RC cars you’ll feel, at best, sluggish, and at worst you’ll feel like you’re trapped in molasses.

With Nikko RC Racer, you race against yourself. There are no other ghost cars with you in the regular mode. If you want to actually enjoy some friendly competition, you have to login with Facebook and race against your friends or compare your solo times through Gamecenter. One cool thing about the game is that it records your races and allows you to share the videos with others so if you have an amazing run, it can be shared for the whole world to see.

Overall, Nikko RC Racer is well worth its free price. Anyone more familiar with racing games may not enjoy the finicky controls, slow-moving cars, and uninspired level design, but as a game for people who just want to drive some cars around, you could do worse.


App Store Link: Nikko RC Racer for iPhone & iPad | By Paladin Studios | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.9 | 66.2 MB |

5.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating