“Hot Wheels: Race Off,” from Hutch and Mattel, has been leading the way on the iOS store. In this game, there are 50 unique levels that allow players to grab coins and power-up their vehicles for even faster road-raging, fender-flipping results. There are several styles of play: race against opponents in the single-player mode, or even play against friends and competitors worldwide with over 20 different cars and a variety of terrains.
This game is played by holding the iPhone in landscape position and using the right pedal for the gas, and the left for breaking. Hitting the pedals in mid-air also allows the car to flip forward and backward respectively. Players can also score additional points, and fill their stunt gauge, by pressing the pedals at opportune times to do wheelies and flips. Investing coins into improving a car’s stats can affect how well these stunts go over, as well as allow for the car to pass various terrain obstacles.
There are a variety of landscapes in this game that switch up the kind of obstacles and play styles. Some have more uphill, off-road challenges, while others have literal bumps in the road that require a vehicle to have more stability so as to avoid being flipped over.
Anyone familiar with line rider will enjoy the challenges this game presents. Playing “Hot Wheels: Race Off” well requires an intuitive understanding of how each vehicle functions and what will likely occur when the car hits the road again after accelerating off of a ramp. The best part is that this game keeps the physics fresh by allowing players to upgrade various aspects about each vehicle, changing the play style in very nuanced ways. Level after level, each car feels a little newer and different after an upgrade, so playing the same level repeatedly is not the exact same experience. I was impressed with the replayability of this title, even after I had gone through all of the currently available levels and nearly maxed out most of the vehicle.
There is a lot this game has to offer, especially considering the fact that it is available for free. There are in-app purchases that provide access to different models of cars, as well as the option to unlock power-ups for each vehicle faster, but nearly everything is obtainable simply by playing the game and grabbing coins. Once a day, players can also fill a stunt gauge and get a large amount of coins for a random vehicle that can help with improving the car’s stats. Additionally, diamonds are gifted on a set timer, and can be used to power-up any of the race cars. There are advertisements that pop up every now and again (which I wish did not suddenly burst into sound, even if sound is turned off in-game), but it’s a small price to pay for such an addictive game.
Overall, this is a fast and furious title that is perfect for on-the-go, mobile fun. I was impressed with how much content this game offers for free, and I really enjoyed playing through all the levels repeatedly. I found myself playing the game in the elevator, while on hold with annoying companies, and even before bed. Highly recommended!