Free Racing Game for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

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Real Racing GTI is still available from the App Store for free. It is a great game that works well as a kind of advertisement for the Volkswagen GTI line of cars. Developer, FireMint, is known for their Real Racing iOS series, which was unfortunately acquired by EA who turned Real Racing 3 into a freemium title, ruined by too many micro-transactions.

I originally wrote the following review for a site I no longer work with. Enjoy!


The App Store for the iPhone has a number of free car racing games, but Real Racing GTI tops the list with superior animation and a smooth frame rate. Developed by FireMint and sponsored by Volkswagen, the game features VW’s GTI line of cars tricked out for racing. The user has the option to do a quick one-off race, a time trial, or take part in a short three-race series (Career Mode) behind the wheel of one of the game’s colorful collection of GTIs.

Real Racing GTI Features

  • Three Modes (Time Trial, Quick Race and Career)
  • Six Cars (2010 Volkswagen GTI Models)
  • Car Showroom
  • Online Score Ranking
  • Accelerometer-based Steering

Taking a GTI for a Spin

Upon starting Real Racing GTI, the user is presented with a sharp-looking menu screen centered around a GTI model. Menu links exist for all three game modes, along with links for credits, options and the Showroom, where one can browse Volkswagen’s GTI line and even find a local VW dealer. The Winners Circle link takes one to a web site that lists the game’s high scores. Finally, there is a link to buy the full, non-Volkswagen version of Real Racing.

Real Racing GTI Screenshot

Real Racing GTI is arguably the top free iPhone racing game. Copyright FireMint.

Apple likes to champion the iPhone as a gaming machine with graphics rivaling that of Sony’s PSP. Real Racing GTI’s graphics are close to PSP quality, but they aren’t quite at the level of the new mobile gaming benchmark, the PSP version of Gran Turismo. The racing animation is especially smooth featuring both a high frame rate and well-detailed background graphics. The accelerometer-based steering works great, although there is some tendency to over-steer. Using the automatic acceleration option is recommended, as it makes it easier to brake with a simple finger tap on the screen.

Real Racing’s Game Modes

Real Racing GTI’s three gaming modes each feature the same racing engine and also allow the user to select one of the six GTI car models for the race. Time Trial mode is a simple one lap jaunt around the game’s VW Mayapan Beach track trying to beat one’s best time (or someone else’s) on the online Winners Circle. Quick Race mode also uses the same beach track for a one to nine lap race against 5 other GTIs. If one prefers to race alone, the opponents can be toggled off.

Career mode is simply a three race season – the Volkswagen GTI Cup Championship – with points being awarded at the end of every race and the Cup going to the one with the most points at the end of the three races. The highlight of Career mode is the ability to race on the other two tracks: Forino Valley and Montclair. It is slightly disappointing to be stuck with one track in Time Trial and Quick Race modes, but Real Racing GTI is a free download, after all.

The Options screen allows the user to change various control settings, like turning on manual acceleration. The Accelerometer Sensitivity setting is helpful in correcting over-steering problems. Other settings like the music and sound effects volume sliders are typical of most games.

Real Racing GTI is a great free App Store download and works effectively as advertising both for Volkswagen’s GTI car model and for FireMint’s excellent Real Racing game. Check it out if you want to try out the iPhone’s best free racer.

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