Handheld systems have radically changed the world of racing games. It used to be you had to steer with a directional pad or joystick, or one of those big steering wheel add-ons that never really worked like a real steering wheel. Now tilt controls make driving games simple and sensitive. Find out about the latest iOS racing game to take advantage of tilt controls below.

Race of Champions World is the newest game in Invictus’ Race of Champions games, based on the real auto racing event. I didn’t play the previous Race of Champions, but I understand it also had tracks from around the world. You race against a single other driver, but the other driver is on a parallel track, so you never have to worry about crashing, or pulling a Days of Thunder stunt to get ahead. Actually, aren’t those the coolest parts of racing? Thanks for getting rid of them so we can just drive around a track.

If you are a real world Race of Champions aficionado, I’d imagine you’d really appreciate the unique rules of this race. As a general racing game goes, the controls are really solid. There are several options, but tilt controls remain the easiest and most pure experience. You’re basically holding the entire vehicle in the palm of your hand, and steering it like you’re a god. You can switch to a virtual steering wheel, but that’s more likely to send you spinning into the wall. A virtual left-right D-pad is even simpler, but there’s no real way to make a soft turn with that. You tap left and you’re going all the way left. Tilt controls allow you the nuance of soft or hard turns and balance when you’re driving straight, and we should all be used to tilt controls by now.

The tracks are pretty cool, with some curvy stadium tracks and some city streets blocked off Fast and the Furious style. There’s a wide variety of different cars too. I don’t know much about automobiles, but I can tell one looks like a NASCAR car and one looks like a dune buggy, and you can feel the difference in handling.

One thing I like about Race of Champions is that you start on pretty fair ground with your opponent. I hate racing games where the other drivers instantly zoom ahead so you spend the whole race catching up. That’s not a race so much as a chase. In Race of Champions World, your opponent can only drive as fast as you, so as long as you take the turns right and don’t crash, you can stay ahead. You can also race in time trials or a multiplayer duel, but the essence of the game is the tournament. It takes a really long time to find other players in the Game Center, but ROC World is still new so maybe that will improve as more people download it. For now, stick with the computer opponents. Also, the races are a couple laps so they don’t take forever. That’s another pet peeve of mine, that you have to play a single race for what seems like three hours in other games, so at least Race of Champions races are brief and casual.

I’ve got to say, ROC World does all of the above right, but it’s still not that exciting. Just like NASCAR may seem to the uninitiated, you’re just driving around a track. Even if it’s a real world city, it’s still just the designated course so you hold down the accelerator and turn a few times. It gets harder but I don’t really want to work at the challenge because I’m not hooked on driving these cars. That’s just me though, maybe the gearheads can vouch for all the authentic Race of Champions detail I’m missing.

The graphics are phenomenal. The tracks and backgrounds pretty much look like you’re watching a race on TV. Obviously it’s an animated rendering but they’ve gotten pretty close with the details. When you hear the engine sound it only adds to the realism.

I can respect that Race of Champions World is a well done game with great graphics, solid controls and a great racing engine. I think it’s more that the world of this sort of racing doesn’t hook me, but it wasn’t badly made. It's probably not worth the price or file size for most players, but if the above alternatives to the other racing games sound good, Race of Champions World could fulfill your need for speed.


App Store Link: Race of Champions World for iPhone & iPad | By Invictus | Price: $4.99 | Version: 1.0 | 564 MB | Rating 4+6.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating