Colin McRae Rally is an iOS version of the popular PlayStation rally game.
Old school rally action
The game borrows a lot from the PSOne version of Colin McRae Rally 2, updating it a bit for the iOS platform. You can compete in a Championship, where you must compete in rallies consisting of several stages to try to achieve the lowest overall time. There are thirty stages in total, with settings as diverse as Australia, Greece and Corsica. The total length of all the stages is a monstrous 130km.
Colin McRae Rally is less arcade-like than racing games like Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 7 and you'll need geniune skill and adaptability to tackle the varied terrains, following the voice instructions of your co-driver to negotiate the obstacles.
Damage is a factor and taking knocks seriously hampers the performance and handling of the vehicle. Repairing your car is done using a time-based system, where you have an overall allocation of game time, which you must tactically divide between the various elements, such as suspension, engine, bodywork, etc.
Some of the elements from the original Colin McRae sim are missing from here, unfortunately. For instance, there's no way to upgrade and fine-tune your car and all of the race modes are single-player only.
The cars in Colin McRae Rally for iOS include classic rallying vehicles such as the Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer and Ford Focus (which you start out with). Progressing through the game and winning rallies allows you to unlock new vehicles.
There are two control systems in Colin McRae Rally for iOS, both of which handle excellently. The touch-based control option allows you to control the car by tapping on the left and right arrow buttons. The alternative is a tilt-based mechanism which also works well and comes with a calibration option.
While many arcade racing games these days favor auto-accelerate, Colin McRae Rally sticks to the traditional accelerator button. There are footbrake and handbrake buttons to help you hit corners just right.
Unfortunately, the iOS version of Colin McRae Rally doesn't include a manual transmission, meaning that you can't use gears to your advantage as you could in the original console version. Again, Rally game purists might not be happy with this 'dumbing down' of the original Colin McRae Rally games.
Colin McRae Rally for mobile doesn't dazzle when it comes to graphics. While the original game looked great when it came to PSOne, the visuals of this port don't stand up to those of the most modern racing games for iOS. Backgrounds lack detail and the animation isn't as smooth as it is in Real Racing 3.
Still, there are some positives about the presentation of this version of Colin McRae Rally. The sound effects are very good and listening to the noises your car is making can give you an idea of how badly damaged it is. The spoken instructions come from real life professional co-driver Nicky Grist and these add an air of authenticity to the game.
The menu screens are basic looking but functional, and it's not difficult to find your way around the various race modes and options.
Colin McRae Rally offers a different driving experience to most of the racing games that come out for iOS these days, and it's a lot of fun. However, serious rally fans will lament the lack of tuning options in the game and hanker after more polished graphics