Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 is awesome. It is one of the few games which really matches the controls of the car to the controls available in a hand-held device like the iPhone or iPad perfectly. Anyone can turn on the assists and control a car quite competently but to really set good times a more expert driver will want to turn the assists off and push the limits a bit more. And that's when things get interesting!
The graphics are really quite astonishingly good for a "mere phone". They are far better than a lot of console games from a few years back. The cars and scenery are modelled really nicely and reflections, shadows, sun effects, and dust all add to the realism. The graphics processors in modern devices makes all this possible but the developers of RR3 really should be commended for putting so much effort into creating a really good looking game.
One of my favourite cars, the mighty McLaren MP4-12C, is modelled quite beautifully, and the reflections and shadows really add to the realism.
Racing in RR3 uses an interesting method called "time shifted multiplayer" (TSM). The servers collect races from different players and you race against them instead of computer controlled cars. How exactly this works I have never quite figured out but it's not just a simple replay of the other players' actions. It's a really good compromise between racing against the game and against other players in real time (which would require a fast, reliable connection plus players ready at exactly the same time as you). I still think the option to race real-time against other players (on a local network for example) would be a nice addition to TSM.
Playing RR3 properly is a long-term commitment. I'm guessing that to do everything you need about a year! I don't mean you will spend every waking moment playing, just that waiting for upgrades, repairs, and car deliveries to happen takes a while: hours or even a day. There is a lot to do too. As well as 77 cars, there are many different tracks (all accurately modelled on real tracks) and different types of events. So one day you might race a Ford Focus in a drag race at the Suzuka Circuit and the next day you might race a Lamborghini head to head against another driver on Silverstone.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 being raced on a speed snap (a short race over a tricky part of a track where the object is to reach a maximum speed) at Silverstone.
The cars all handle differently of course. Apart form the obvious differences such as top speed and acceleration the handling is quite different through the bends. A four wheel drive Lambo reacts quite differently from a rear wheel drive Viper and you really have to remember which car you are driving. Choosing the right car for a race isn't just a simple matter of choosing the fastest one, especially on tracks with lots of corners.
Driving the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560. You can race using various views: from the driver's seat, behind the car, or from the front. This view is most realistic with the instruments and mirrors fully operational.
Notice that all the characters in the crowd have unique poses, clothing, etc (although I admit the crowd isn't very big). That is the attention to detail I appreciate in a game!
I have played RR3 almost every day since I first got it many months ago. Originally I played it on the iPhone 5 but since I got an iPad Air I like it better on the bigger screen. I've got through less than half the race series (each one has about 50 races) and have just 34 out of 77 cars, so there's plenty more entertainment there yet. Maybe in a few months I will finally have earned a Lamborghini Aventador, Pagani Huayra, Koenigsegg Agera, and Bugatti Veyron!
Here's my tip for earning some virtual cash you can buy new cars with...
Find an endurance race on the Indianapolis Speedway oval track and race it with a fast car you like driving and turn off the braking assist (leave the other assists on). Race this first race of the day (where you get double points if you race every day) and hire the manager for a further double points. That way you get quadruple points if you win. And once you get good at the corners of the oval track you can win every time. I race the Pro/Am Supercar club Speedrush TV US Slam in the Nissan GTR and can complete over 22 miles giving an income of about $75,000.