iOS Roundup: Charting a course for victory

September 5, 2011

In this Labor Day edition, we look at two solid titles that use path-drawing as a mechanic: DrawRace 2 and Crimson Steam Pirates.

DrawRace 2 (iPhone, iPad): For those who missed the original DrawRace, the concept is deviously simple: it’s a racing game, but rather than steering, you draw the path around the track beforehand and watch the car follow it. You need to slow down your drawn path to get around curves, though you don’t need to worry about collision physics, as the game takes the TrackMania approach of not acknowledging other cars at all.

It’s not just a set-and-watch thing, though, as you can trigger boosts around the track at various moments. The new game adds tons of polish and features, kicking it up a league in the iOS pantheon. Want to get the most out of the latest from RedLynx and Chillingo? Make sure to check out the multiplayer component. 5/5

Crimson Steam Pirates (iPad): Bungie Aerospace, the initiative started by the Halo developers to foster independent work, has its first product: an iPad-only turn-based pirate combat game. You draw short path segments for all your ships, then end your turn and sit back and watch things go. You have special abilities to trigger on various ships, and each map has its own objectives.

The story, which had a chance of being pretty good with a pirate theme, is actually just painful. (At least it seems to know it and tries to remain tongue-in-cheek.) It’s worth a try, to be sure, and luckily, the first chapter is free. They’ll be charging for extra levels, though. As long as it’s a purely episodic model rather than a gouge-you-for-resources microtransaction model, we can get behind this. 4/5