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App of the Week: Real Racing 3 (iOS and Android)

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Price: Free

Platforms: iOS and Android

Developer: Firemonkey

Fans of racing games will have no doubt heard of the Real Racing series by now – the games have developed a reputation of being the best racing simulators on mobile devices, offering some of the best graphics you’ll find on a tablet or smartphone game anywhere.

Firemonkey Studios have been teasing us with short snippets of footage from their upcoming title Real Racing 3, and today the game is available to download from the App Store or Play Store. What’s more, it’s totally free!

In the past Real Racing games have cost around £5 up front, giving the gamer free roam of everything. The new free app switches things up a bit, asking gamers to complete tasks or wait a certain amount of time before being able to unlock a new track or car – the way around this is to pay to unlock stuff, which is a model that most free games are now using.

The patience is worth it, however, as Real Racing 3 is absolutely stunning. Without a doubt this is the closest to console quality that we’ve seen from a mobile game, which is even more impressive when you consider that it costs you nothing to download.

Graphically the game will impress, especially on devices with large and crisp screens like the Sony Xperia Z. The detail found in the cockpit is vast; covering everything from the way light hits the dashboard to the tiny dials in the boost gauges. The cars look even more realistic thanks to huge advances in shading and mimicking the way light naturally reflects off the surface of these powerful beasts.

You start the game off with 20 coins, a total which increases as you win races and complete challenges, or when you make in-app payments with real money. Coins mean upgrades, paint jobs and repairs to your car, so obviously the more you have the better.

Single player and multiplayer game modes exist, offering variation to keep you interested. Perhaps the coolest feature is time-shifted multiplayer, which will track ghost runs of people you play multiplayer against and then put them into a new race to compete against as if they were AI opponents. This effectively means you can play RR3 multiplayer without needing to go online, and offers a more challenging single player option.

With over 40 cars, single and multiplayer modes and plenty of challenges and upgrades, Real Racing 3 is a free download that you can’t really afford to miss out on. It’s available now on iOS and Android from the App Store and Play Store respectively.