VS. Racing 2
At first glance, VS. Racing 2 doesn't appear too complex when it comes to graphics, but this quickly gets tossed out the window once you take in the detailed tracks, the way sparks appear whenever two cars trade paint, or the dirt that kicks up whenever a vehicle goes off-road. You soon learn that just because the game has a top down perspective, with the camera positioned hundreds of feet in the air, doesn't mean this little gem can't hang with the best racers on the App Store.
That said, VS. Racing 2 features 36 tracks and three cars, with more on the way via free update. Granted, we'd prefer to have more rides to choose from, but at the very least, the developers at Maciek Drejak Labs deserve a nod for keeping things simple, which ultimately lets players focus on winning races instead of spending too much time tinkering underneath the hood or getting overwhelmed.
As for the gameplay, the primary goal is to always come in first, though it's also in your best interest to do so in the quickest time possible while scraping against rivals, drifting and overtaking opponents, since performing these tasks results in more gold stars and coins. Virtual currency is key, since this is what you'll use to not only upgrade a car's top speed, acceleration and off-road ability, but also purchase new muscle machines.
All of this is for naught, though, if VS. Racing 2 isn't fun. Thankfully, the game delivers on that front, depending on the control scheme. The default steering wheel on the right (or left- you can switch it) is the most ideal way to play, as it provides a helpful arrow that makes driving a snap. The other two options, tilt and invisible left/right arrows, are far less ideal, and we suggest avoiding these at all costs.
Where the game stumbles, however, is with online play, or lack thereof. Although players have the option to race against friends, complete with power-ups and weapons, it's offline only, a puzzling omission the game's creators should have included. The fact that online multiplayer never appeared in the original VS. Racing makes its absence here even worse.
Still, if all you want is an easily digestible single-player experience to enjoy on the go, one with surprisingly impressive graphics, consider VS. Racing 2 $0.99 well spent.
What's Hot: Attractive graphics and cool depth of field, preferred steering wheel controls, drifting and crashing into opponents to earn coins, 36 different tracks, racing against ghosts.
What's Not: No online play, not enough cars to choose from.