I love watching the Formula 1 now, but the fast cars and wheel to wheel racing made it a sport that I couldn’t appreciate when I was younger. The races were long and I just wanted to see what cartoons were on. But as you get older and learn to appreciate the technology that goes into each car and the extreme action that season can shape up to contain, you get hooked into a sport that is so much fun to watch and even more fun to try and explain to others.
I have played F1 Race stars before on the Xbox 360 and really liked it. It supplied my need for a fun kart game without the ability to play Mario Kart and also combined my love for F1. It’s exciting to be able to play as all the characters and use that world to race in environments, that are in no way realistic, but have that feel of Formula 1 about them. For those totally drawing a blank about this game, let me give you a quick summery of what you are missing.
F1 Race Stars is a racing game in the same arcade style as Mario Kart or Sonic Racing, if you are familiar with those, if not I would advise that you stop reading this right now and go and check out some YouTube videos, because you could do with catching up on some serious video gaming 101. Using Avatars of real life racing stars as well as a few other characters thrown into the mix, you will have to race around tracks themed around the various F1 venues that hold races during the various seasons. Like Mario or Sonic, while you’re driving, you will pick up perks and weapons to both enhance your own performance as well as pack a serious punch to the opposition. And of course the staple of any racing game, first one to the finish line is the winner!
While this seems to be another entry into a somewhat oversaturated market, F1 Race Stars proves to be a very fun little game indeed. First of all, the game is free on IOS devices making sure that everyone can pick up and play the game. Unfortunately being free does come with its downsides and I am of course talking about micro-transactions. Now if you are a regular reader of IM PLAYIN you will know that we are not necessarily against micro-transactions, only when they are used to halt or hinder gameplay significantly if the player chooses not to pay. Unfortunately with F1 Race Stars that is the case. Coins and Gems are the main currency used, with coins applying to race perks and Gems purchesing the rest, from more drivers, faster levelling and more upgrades. Coins are the easier of the two to acquire with Gems coming few and far between. Unless you are willing to part with some cash, then don’t count on getting all the drivers anytime soon. For a £14.99 parting of cash you can unlock all the lads but if you choose not to, you will be looking at hours and hours of play and levelling to reach that level and it doesn’t make it that easy. By far the most frustrating thing is that each driver only has a limited number of races in him before needing to recharge. Now the kind makers give you a second character when you have exhausted the ‘rookie’ but that still leaves some serious down time. Stockpiling gems to get the top drivers then just won’t work as you will need to part with the gems to get more lover level cadets in order to play for an extended period of time, (see where I’m are going with this?).
BUT, please don’t now stop reading thinking it is all bad … though I would suggest reading on if you are an F1 fan or a racing game fan, only.
Still here? Well let’s get on to the good stuff.
The game caters really well to those who have a knowledge of the racers and some of the lingo in F1, but the great thing is that you don’t have to know a thing t enjoy this game. Proper F1 games are only really played by those in the know, as much of what is talked about has to be really understood to not end up in the barriers. F1 Race Stars however, provides an outside look at the sport for those who just want a fun game and add an extra layer to the ‘I know that’ sensation of the gamers who love F1. This is translated into some great power-ups in the race, ranging from a safety car to bad weather. This F1 theme and neat gadgets make the game feel like you haven’t played another game like it and for a mobile experience it is really fun. For those who are picky about how they play, the game also boasts 3 different control schemes so you can really get to grips with a play style that you like. I tended to use the touch screen more like a controller but switching to the tilt controls defiantly made the game a tad more interesting.
So what more can I say? Well I would recommend that you pick this game up and give it a try, it is free after all. If you are a fan of Formula 1 then you will like the link this game creates between the sport and the more arcadey racing games and if you are not a fan at all, you may find that you love the game for what it is and start to appreciate F1 a little more, who knows?