Po-faced sims have been leading the iPhone racing pack for quite awhile now and what with the likes of NFS:Shift and GT Racing: Motor Academy currently jostling for pole position, it’s somewhat refreshing to see a game like Raging Thunder 2, which evidently doesn’t take itself too seriously, rev into sight. Bright, breezy and boasting high-octane dashes through the likes of lava pits, abandoned temples and across the Great Wall of China, RT2 is more akin to Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart than Real Racing.
Yet the cartoony presentation belies the rock-hard heart that beats beneath this baby’s bonnet. Events are kept exciting and unpredictable as the ferocious competitors, gifted with formidable AI, pull out all the stops to leave you in their dust. Meaning the game is nothing if not challenging.
Tilting your device to maneuver your muscle car, thrilling events are raced on topsy-turvy tracks, strewn with absolutely redonkulous power-ups, ranging from turbo-boost enducing lightening bolts to a visually stunning special ability that sets your tires ablaze, grafting your car firmly to the the asphalt.
Races most usually descend into a frantic chase for these goodies, as you and your rivals ram and shunt each around the track trying to grab boosts and the lead. Yet victory is never a sure-thing as there’s always someone ready to slam you against the barrier or an impossible to avoid crate of explosives around the next bend.
A well implemented tackle system makes scrap-metal of Asphalt 5‘s pansy-ish approach to this brawler-cum-racer style of play and offers up some truly exhilerating moments of visceral machine on machine action. While the exaggerated crash physics and cartoony tail-spins are hugely entertaining and nicely animated.
All in all, there’s a more than decent amount of gameplay to be squeezed from the single-player career mode, with a fleet of insanely cars to be unlocked and tinkered with, a plethora of tracks and tournaments to race and an increasingly unforgiving difficulty level to contend with.
In addition to this lengthy career mode, RT2 also offers bite-sized shots of adrenaline in the shape of time attack, survival, and arcade modes, as well as an option to take your souped up super-car online and engage in some fast-paced multiplayer battles.
And while it’s not all good- the tilt controls took some tweaking before I felt comfortable with them, later tracks are frustratingly tough and the OTT visual style might not be to everyone’s taste- for the best part RT2 delivers on its promise of a fun-filled, arcade racing extravaganza, with slick, vibrant graphics, plenty of smash-ups and a joyous sense of fun and, of course, speed.
iFanzine Verdict:Unabashedly an arcade style racer, RT2 puts the emphasis firmly on having a blast and steals Asphalt 5’s thunder in the process. A 200mph joy-ride from start to finish…!