Vertigo Racing review: speeding on the edge


Vertigo Racing speeds its way onto the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, and it's a new racing game that has you driving retro cars on the edge of a narrow road facing into the abyss. And it will get you hooked in no time.

Made by Chillingo, a company known as the publisher (but not actual developer) of titles like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, but also as the developer of games like Anomaly Warzone Earth and tens of other critically acclaimed games, Vertigo Racing is also built to a solid standard.

First, let's explain the idea: you have a retro car that you get to race on narrow roads with the key challenge being to a/ not fall off the cliff, and b/ reach the next check-point fast enough. And the combination of these two might be indeed maddeningly hard: so hard that we've spent around an hour trying to win our third car, which is way too early in the game. Luckily, even if you don't win, you've got plenty of upgrades that continually change the speed and endurance of your ride, and allow you to get a few hundred feet closer to your next goal.

You are also welcome to tackle the challenge of each level with a different car. Each of the rides also has a very different feel: the old pink beetle is surprisingly quick to accelerate and stop, but won't drift as smoothly as some other cars. It's those differences that make it a lot of fun to try and win the various challenges with different cars.

The controls are well made for touch, but it feels like the gas pedal button could be a bit larger, as often times our finger would be close to the pedal, but nothing would happen in terms of acceleration.

All in all, we've enjoyed playing Vertigo Racing a lot. It's a free download on both Android and iOS, and while it does have in-app purchases that would be quite useful for those who don't have the patient to grind through the extremely challenging levels (it takes $8 to kill the short ads and get double coins throughout the game), we like playing it enough to not mind the IAPs. The graphics run smoothly and the physics are engaging and predictable, and overall, if you like to kill a few minutes playing an engaging new racing game, Vertigo Racing could be your jam. But be warned: those few minutes could easily turn into hours.

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