The racing genre is really starting to fill up on Apple’s App Store, which is a great thing in my books. Even though it was one of the first, Pangea’s Cro-Mag Rally still holds it’s own when facing all of the newer competition.
Cro-Mag Rally is a Kart Racer along the same lines of games like Mario Kart. You pickup weapons on the track to destroy or hamper your opponents who are all vying for the win. Weapons such as Dino Bones, Bottle Rockets, Heat Seeking Pigeons and Oil Slicks help to keep the competition at bay while the Sticky Tires and Super Suspension power-ups give you the edge.
Two game modes are included: straight up racing and Gather mode. Gather mode has you collecting all of the arrowheads on the course while still trying to get first place, and the regular racing mode is just that. You can race and battle through the 9 courses with any of the 11 included vehicles. The levels are all unlocked from the start, which is different than most racers where you have to unlock everything.
The game looks gorgeous, from the dry plains of the Sahara all the way to the special underwater race in Atlantis. There is a bit of draw in while you travel through the levels, but it never becomes a pain or detrimental.
Controlling your Kart around the track is where Cro-Mag Rally shines. You can really tell that Pangea spent a lot of time tweaking the accelerometer-based controls to gets something that works better then almost any other racer on the iPhone. Steering is accomplished by tilting the phone, with your acceleration being controlled by touching the icons on the left part of the screen. The controls are tight, and it’s great to see that the touch-based controls do not obstruct the screen while playing.
My only complaint with the title, and it’s a very minor one at that, is the lack of a multiplayer race or battle mode. Any form of multi-player mode in Cro-Mag Rally would have been a great addition, but I really can’t fault it for not shipping with one. Maybe we can hope for something in a title update down the road.
Seeing as Cro-Mag Rally started out at $9.99 it’s an absolute steal for the new price of $4.99. If you are looking for a great controlling racer on the iPhone, you need not look any further; Cro-Mag Rally is truly a gem on Apple’s App Store.
Price: $4.99 [App Store]
[update 09/10/08: Looks like Pangea is having a sale on their games. Cro-Mag is on the App Store for $1.99! If you are interested in this game, you may want to act quick.]