Gamers worth their salt would know that games can be neither judged nor understood by their titles alone. There are plenty of titles out there that may mean one thing, but actually mean another, so looking at and playing the content is what really matters. Therefore, when you see a game with the title CSR Racing and somehow find yourself thinking of it as the usual mobile racing fare, then you need to remind yourself again of that rule of thumb.
CSR Racing by Boss Alien and NaturalMotion Games is a free-to-play mobile drag racing game, which means that you race in a straight track all the way through. This game isn’t as much of a racing game as it is like Temple Run, wherein you tap the sides of the screen at the right moments in order to avoid obstacles. For those who had been wanting another mobile racing title other than Asphalt and Real Racing, then this could be rather disappointing, but it does not mean that CSR Racing is in any way a bad game. In fact, it does its job rather well at the basic level.
It does have good production value with good graphics and sharp audio which shows that the developers did put care into this game. The in-game interface is basically a steering wheel on the bottom, so it doesn’t block much on the screen. There’s a fair bit of customization available as well. You can choose cars from different manufacturers like Audi, Nissan, BMW, Mini, GM, Chevrolet, Ford, and so on. Those are pretty good brand names, and you also get to upgrade the tires, gearbox, turbo, engine, NOS, chassis, and other parts to improve your car even more. Then there are also cosmetic customization as well, from paint jobs to custom license plates. You can spruce your car up and make it your own, which lets you give this game your personal touch.
However, those upgrades are fairly expensive and requires either a lot of grinding or real money to obtain. What really puts this game down is the in-app purchases that will start to wear on you. This is yet another example of microtransactions gone bad, and this game really takes it pretty far. It’s like poking a lion repeatedly with a stick through the cage, and you’re the lion. If you can’t stand it anymore, you’d want to just stop playing and remove the game from your device.
It’s not even about just how incessant it is with them, but also the ludicrous prices. The developers must have not gotten the memo when it comes to incessant use of IAP, so much that they really feel like pay-to-win options. They start from $2.99 and go all the way up to $99.99, expecting people to bite. Of course, we live in a world where someone actually bought the I Am Rich app, which is already quite ridiculous all by itself. Perhaps there are other games with even more preposterous IAPs, but that doesn’t make it entirely alright.
It’s really too bad since CSR Racing is a solid mobile racing title that can stand on its own, even though you’ll be reminded of the IAPs repeatedly as long as you play it. It won’t be easy, but if you do like this game and don’t want to spend another dime, then you’ll have to bear with the annoyances. At least it’s free-to-play, so that shouldn’t be too hard.
Tested in Android. Final Score: 6/10