Get ready to do the monster mash in Chillingo's tribute to old-school driving/shooting games.
Chillingo has done impressive stuff with the iPhone and iPod Touch, and it doesn't look like it'll slow down anytime soon. Horror Racing is its latest downloadable title, a fun racer that combines classic isometric racing with something along the lines of the Universal Studios monster tour.
In the game, you choose from a variety of horror-themed characters, including the good-looking Eye and the likable man-beast Little Monstrous, and then hop into their vehicle of choice to do some serious racing. However, this isn't just a "race to the finish line" type of game. Along the way, you'll acquire power-ups, including missiles and lightning bolts, that'll turn your opponents' cars from competitive racers into scrap heaps. If you can take the first place victory, you'll move on to the next event. Just pray your opponents don't pick up a quadruple weapon damage icon. Ouch.
This game reminds us of the old 16-bit Blizzard game, Rock n' Roll Racing, as it uses a similar isometric view. This makes the tracks and the cars easy to see, although things get tricky with the constantly winding roadways. In addition, the environments look like they belong in a horror film, whether you're racing through a haunted cornfield or motoring your way around a Transylvania-inspired city. There's even a track diagram, in case you feel like checking out what turns lie ahead.
Along with the 15 tracks and the five selectable characters, Horror Racing features some pretty good modes. Championship puts you in a number of racing tournaments, offering two unlockable characters and plenty of cash to upgrade your weapons and armor. (You'll want to do this, especially if you bump the difficulty to Hard.) If you feel like doing a few laps around the track, you can opt for a Quick Race. The best mode of all, however, is Skirmish. Here, it's race till you die, as you cruise around the track shooting everything in sight with whatever power-ups you can get your grubby little mitts on.
That said, Horror Racing isn't perfect. There should've been some sort of online mode, where we could race against fellow horror fans with our monster of choice. Also, the controls leave something to be desired. You steer your vehicle using a wheel on the bottom right corner of the screen. The cars handle fine, but the fact that you can't modify the controls, such as switching to an alternative method or moving the wheel to another part of the screen, is a bummer.
However, don't let that stop you from hitching a ride with this crew. Horror Racing sells for the bargain basement price of $2.99, and you'll definitely get your money's worth. With classic shoot-em-up/driving gameplay, a good amount of modes and a splendid presentation, you'll be screaming...for joy.
What's Hot: Terrific presentation, a great variety of weapons and tracks, Skirmish mode is a wonderful addition, it'll only set you back three bucks.
What's Not: You can't modify the controls, no online play.