The racing genre got a real revolution in DrawRace back in the summer of 2009. It has been the first choice for local multiplayer for both my iPhone, and iPad. I have been waiting for something to nudge it off that pedestal. Finally that day has come, and it is the sequel that takes the new crown. DrawRace 2 is bigger, better, bolder and more beautiful than the first. If the first game revolutionized the racing genre, then the sequel is more of a controlled evolution.
DrawRace 2 is a line drawing game just like the first. You draw a path for your car to follow, and the speed of the drawing affects the speed of the car. The game engine has been rebuilt to perfection. Slower speeds are shown by thicker lines. You also get audio feedback with screeching tires, and different engine sounds to illustrate speed. Once the laps have been drawn the countdown starts. A new feature is the fact that you have a turbo boost button that you can use during a race once charged. It charges when the car breaks around corners, much like the KERS system in Formula 1. This extra boost gives the game a more direct arcade vibe. These controls are brilliant, and next to Flight Control it stands at the forefront of line drawing games.
There are four game modes available, and all of them offer great value for your money. The main place where you have to start to unlock the other modes, and cars and tracks is the career mode. In the career you start with a tutorial, and quite an easy class. Each race has three different levels of difficulty, but you only have to beat the first to unlock the next race. Later classes require a larger number of race to be beaten first. You receive a constant sense of progression that makes the career mode addictive by itself. Not all races are about pure racing, but there are also some where you must collect balloons while also winning a short race.
The remaining three game modes are all about beating your friends, or the world. Local multiplayer for up to four players is the best experience you can have with your friends around the iPad. Each take turns drawing the paths, and when the race starts you all have separate boost buttons (think slot racing). You select the number of games to play, cars and tracks. Racing Formula First cars on ice is pure madness, and takes a completely new way of thinking.
Challenging a friend by means of Game Center is also a fun mode, but not as rewarding since your friends aren’t in the same room. The final mode is probably the place where you can spend weeks without tiring: World League. You are paired against suitable opponents from around the world, and the object is to climb in the ranks. Awesome, fun and it is one of the few online games where it doesn’t matter if someone drops out in anger, as their move has already been finished.
The presentation in DrawRace 2 is the most polished I have seen for a game of this genre. Excellent menus, great tutorial videos and hints on how to better your driving. The small cars look, and behave perfectly realistic. Maps are varied, and pose different challenges. On the smaller screen it is harder to get all curves perfectly because the finger used to draw occasionally covers up the area. Still, it works really well. Once the cars start to move, the camera pans around smoothly. I would, however, have liked a zoom option when playing single player, to be able to get a closer look at the traction of my car.
The music is ok, with good tempo and energy, but slightly generic. Sound effects are limited to engine sounds, the odd crash and boost sound. You cannot play your own music, alongside the sound effects, and I would have liked playlist integration. If you override the game music using a headset you can use your own music, but the sound effects get lost.
DrawRace 2 is my favourite game for iOS, and if I had to name a game that defines touch screen gaming this is it. Alongside Flight Control it shows that you don’t have to mimic button controllers to have a real good time on a touch screen. With a hefty career mode, Crystal and Game Center integration, local multiplayer that is at the top of its class, online World League to climb and excellent visuals, it is hands down the best game out there. If you have both an iPad and iPhone/iPod get both versions. Even if you have to start the game from scratch on both devices this is one of those games you need to have on hand at all times.
DrawRace 2 $0.99
DrawRace 2 HD $2.99
Seller: Chillingo Ltd