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Things a car nut should do
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My favourite free car games for iPad

29/04/2013 06:45 |  Comments: 

Managing director

Well-known in Totalcar-circles for being able to draft in huge wads of dough in impossible times, we all tolerate Tibby’s sick jokes and horribly nasty remarks day to day. On better days he doubles as a writer too, but his articles always guarantee a hoard of trolls arriving. Never being able to decide between Citroens and Merc’s, presently he owns a Merc. And a BMW. And he bombs us with ads of hydropneumatic Citroens daily. Has a wife and two small children.

Driving is best if we have a good car, no speed limits, and we won’t die if we lose control in a curve.

The iPad is fun. Apart from work I use it for playing games with my first-born, who is 6. His name is Peter and he's into car games. The three we play on a regular basis sneaked into our everyday life after he had seen them on the iPad of his nursery school teacher. Back home he selected them from the screenshots of the Apple Store. And the best thing about these three free games is that together they make for the perfect game experience. Let me tell you why.

We'll start with the CSR Racing which, by the way, is available for Android, too. This is a drag game with chill-out music and pretty good graphics. The task is to beat the tough guys of five districts in a drag race driving whichever car happens to be available, and which we are free to tune with the money collected during the game. Cars you can actually buy from dealers, like the BMW Z4, the Ford Cobalt, the Audi TT, the R8 and such. But you only have 10 units of petrol, which you can use up during 10 races. On the average, that makes for about a quarter of an hour of racing, after which you have to wait because it takes 7 minutes to refill enough petrol for a new race. Peter usually doses the Nitro, but is perfectly capable of winning the qualifying races on his own.

We could easily lose our interest during those 7 minutes, but in the meantime we turn to Real Racing, another free game instead. In this game, developed by Electronic Arts, we take part in non-existent single-brand trophies and race on existing tracks in the cars of today. We get ranked, the money is piling up, we tune the car, and spend a fortune if our ride gets smashed during the race. We spend most on maintenance, though: anything that wears and needs regular replacement has to be taken care of. There are two ways of doing this: we either pay, or wait for the oil and brake service. I like the graphics a lot, and the game itself is pretty cool too, although the races with several laps can get quite long. That's not always a bad thing, as we have time on our hands anyway while waiting for the petrol refill to be able to continue game No. 1, the CSR Racing. Controlling the car is fun: we steer by turning the iPad and pull the brakes by touching the screen at any point. If we don't know the track well enough, the car slows down before entering a curve, provided we have selected that option beforehand. The game is smart and enjoyable enough for a kid.

So, there we are, waiting for the car and the petrol, ready to get loose on the Hill Climb. Here the task is to get a chosen car driven by a stubbly, jaded guy as far as we can on a track. There's a wide range of vehicles to choose from, from the Jeep to a tank, all having different advantages. The best thing is collecting the extra bonuses jumping around on the Moon until our player breaks his neck accompanied by a crackling sound.

By the time we reach that point, the two other games will have gotten ready again for us to start drag racing with a Ford GT. A gift from God. For free.

If you know other similarly cool iPad or Android games, please leave a comment below and we'll check them out.

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