Real Racing 3 brings the horsepower, but the freemium model prevents perfection

Real Racing 3 (iOS | Android) is the best in the popular auto racing series so far, with real-world cars, tight controls, and amazing graphics, but some people still may be turned off by the game's somewhat intrusive freemium model. In fact, this game would have been a CNET Editors' Choice if EA had stuck with the one-time purchase model of the first two games in the series.

Real Racing 3 delivers the most realistic racing experience available on a touch-screen device. Everything from the car models and textures to the lifelike physics as you speed around real-world tracks fully … Read more

Hot new iOS games for the long weekend

Several great new games were released this week for iOS that are perfect for keeping you busy during downtime over the long Labor Day weekend.

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Spy Mouse, Firemint's latest game that has you play as Agent Squeak, the mouse who stealthily steals cheese across tons of cleverly made levels. I highly recommend that you grab that game in addition to this collection, but I found three more that will satisfy just about every gamer's personal taste.

This week's collection of iOS apps are all hot new games from different genres. The first lets you draw your path around a racetrack; the second lets you use a jetpack to go for distance; and the third is a beautifully made hack-and-slash RPG.… Read more

Spy Mouse already a hit in the iTunes App Store

One of the earliest game publishers to enjoy huge success on iOS devices was Firemint, maker of Real Racing 2 and Flight Control. Though it is not a company that puts out several games a year, you know that when Firemint does release something, it's probably going to be good. Last week, Firemint released its latest game, Spy Mouse, and with a mix of line-drawing fun and excellent production values, it has already reached No. 1 in the iTunes App Store.

Spy Mouse (99 cents - see note at bottom) is a line-drawing stealth game that challenges you to … Read more

EA to acquire popular mobile game developer, Firemint

Today, Electronic Arts announced an agreement to acquire Firemint, the maker of several hit games on mobile platforms.

The news comes on the heels of EA's acquisition of Mobile Post Production, a cross-platform development studio that ports games for smartphones.

"The Firemint team is remarkable for its critical and commercial success," Barry Cottle, executive vice president and general manger of EA Interactive, said in a statement. "The added technical expertise of MPP, combined with the creative talent of Firemint and our EAi studio teams, fuels EA's leadership in delivering top-selling, high-quality games across mobile phones and smartphones, tablets, and future digital interactive entertainment platforms."

Of the thousands of games that flooded the gates of the iTunes App Store in its early days, Firemint was one of the first development companies to hold solid positions on the Paid Apps most popular list. Its most notable hit games, Flight Control and the Real Racing franchise for both iPhone and iPad, have been popular mainstays in the Top 100 Apps lists since their release. Firemint's gone on to add other platforms to its repertoire, including Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.

The deal between EA and Firemint is expected to close within four weeks. Financial details were not disclosed.… Read more

The best racing game on the iPhone

Real Racing 2 is the long-awaited sequel to popular driving game Real Racing, and it definitely lives up to all the hype. Like the original game, Real Racing 2 offers the same sensitive accelerometer steering that feels just right on the iPhone. But there are a lot of new features in this sequel that make it even better than the original.

One of the biggest changes is the ability to drive real-world cars; Firemint managed to get 30 officially licensed cars, and each car sounds and drives like its real-world counterpart. You also can take part in auto-matched 16-player online … Read more

Top racing game for iPhone

Real Racing GTI is essentially a free, Volkswagen-sponsored preview of the popular racing game Real Racing. Real Racing GTI prominently features (not surprisingly) the new Volkswagen GTI, in six different colors, complete with Volkswagen ads on the track and a "showroom" in which you can check out a video and interior shots of the car.

As with the full version of the game, the gameplay and first-person interface are exceptionally good, striking just the right balance between an arcade driving game and a full-on racing sim. You can choose between five different methods for controlling your car, switching … Read more

Live a virtual life and race against the clock: iPhone apps of the week

In addition to the big Apple announcements of new laptops and the iPhone 3G S at this weeks WWDC, other well-known developers used the conference as an opportunity to release some big name iPhone applications. I usually try to balance my coverage of iPhone apps by talking about one game and one useful utility, but with this week's big releases, I'm going to talk about two games. These games are both $9.99, so with the higher price point, I think it's worth it to give you the rundown of both so you can decide if you … Read more