The price of freedom.
CSR Racing is back in the form of a new Classics edition, and those of you with an aversion to freemium gaming should probably look away now. The same reflex, gear-switching gameplay is back - along with the cash-gated gameplay - but this time there's a focus on giving some much-needed TLC to a hearty collection of battered old classic cars.
You can choose to buy a car in an appalling condition or spend more money on one that's a little more loved. Once in your - current - vehicle of choice, it's a case of entering a stream of drag-races across crew battles, ladder competitions, and daily challenges as you attempt to be the king of the city racers.
The original CSR Racing was no slouch when it came to visual fidelity and this Classics edition arguably looks even better. There's a decent collection of cars to unlock and upgrade too, and while the game clearly wants you to spend money to bypass the wretched state your classic car starts in, there's plenty to work towards in terms of sprucing up your ride - mechanically and cosmetically. The actual gameplay is still as nerve-fraying and tense as it's always been.
If you thought the original CSR Racing wanted your money, you ain't seen nothing yet. Were it not for the energy system, which tops up over time or can be refilled for real money, you could slowly (very slowly) unlock all the game's content. But the game nudges you to spend money every step of the way - on tune-up mechanics, on car upgrades - and it's not afraid to push you towards an unwinnable event to make you feel compelled to do so either.
If the original CSR Racing's business model turned your stomach, you'd be advised to give CSR Classics a pretty wide berth. And that's once again a huge pity, because while the reflex gameplay is simple it's also a lot of fun when you're playing it. If you don't mind either playing in short bursts, or paying in large bursts, there's fun to be had here alongside the frustration. Either way, we all know that NaturalMotion is about to fill another swimming pool with money.
Download CSR Classics - iPhone & iPad