Once upon a time - back when video games were young, innocent and on the whole offline - Colin McRae Rally was as dominant among rally games as its late namesake was in the WRC.
With its flat-out, arcade style of dusty road racing, handling that was fun and forgiving but also precise, and for-the-time excellent graphics and a wide variety of stages, the McRae series was rightly seen as the gold standard of the genre.
Since the early 2000s, though, driving games - including Codemaster's now McRae-less Dirt sequels - have gotten far more complex graphically and mechanically - not only on consoles but on mobile devices too. So now Colin McRae Rally itself is back for iOS (iPhone and iPad) is it able to hold its own?
On the plus side, the core of the game - based on Colin McRae Rally 2.0 for PSOne - is as ridiculously fun as it ever was.
The handling is perfectly pitched, with drift and cornering easy enough to get a hold of for beginners, while rewarding repeated play and expert timing. Translated to either on-screen or tilt controls - neither of which are perfect but both of which work - it makes for a seriously entertaining drive, with muddy hairpins, dirt-track fence post dives and even the occasional road all fodder for your masterful swerve turns.
The game is also full of content, with 130km of tracks, plus a very tight career mode that incorporates damage repairs, multiple stage races and tactics. There are a bunch of cars - though no customisation - and a nicely paced sense of progression. The graphics - while still 3D - are now virtually retro, but are sharp enough to hold the game together.
What it lacks are a few core features - most notably multiplayer. There is also no manual transmission mode, limited camera options and a sense of being a bit 'static'. And to go back to the graphics, when compared to titles like Real Racing 3 the visuals will seem downright poor to anyone who doesn't realise that this is a remade 2001 title, and not a brand-new game.
All that said, iOS gamers have generally been able to place playability, fun and value for money ahead of graphical shenanigans and fancy features. And at just £2.99, with this level of playability, it's hard to argue that Colin McRae Rally won't drift through the finishing line ahead of the pack.
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