Reckless Racing 2 power-slides into the iTunes App Store

The sequel to one of our favorite iOS racing games is out today and new game modes, customization options, and car upgrades make Reckless Racing 2 the best in its genre at the iTunes App Store.

Reckless Racing 2
Reckless Racing 2 is here and it's got all the bells and whistles we were missing in the original. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

The sequel to one of our favorite iOS racing games is out today, and new game modes, customization options, and car upgrades make Reckless Racing 2 the best in its genre at the iTunes App Store.

When the original Reckless Racing came out, it was a revelation of what a savvy developer could do on an iOS device. With great-looking graphics, ultra-realistic physics, and a retro edge, Reckless Racing demonstrated a new breed of racing game on iOS.

Reckless Racing 2 ($4.99) has all of the things we liked about the original, but adds tons of features and new tracks, and organizes the game modes to make a better all around gaming experience. The game comes with 24 routes with both dirt and tarmac variations and some races even have a mix of both surfaces. The physics in the original were exceptional, and this sequel continues the tradition, possibly making it the best power-slide racing game in the iTunes App Store. The tracks are also longer and more varied than the original, with big straightaways, clifflike drop-offs, and even better scenery.

Reckless Racing 2
On the dirt tracks, you can really feel the gravel as you slide around the corners. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

The original Reckless Racing had both single and multiplayer, but neither were very deep. The single-player mode was divided up between Dirt Rally, where you could try to improve your position on five different tracks; Hot Lap, where you would race to get your best time; and Delivery, which had you delivering packages around the map within a time limit. Reckless Racing 2 offers an Arcade mode with 40 challenges to race through and unlock on various surfaces and with different cars. Even better, there's a fully realized Campaign mode with cups and championships and you even have car requirements to qualify. If you don't want to commit to a long event, you can play single-event races or just try for your best time in Hot Lap mode. Reckless Racing 2 also offers online multiplayer, and in my testing I was able to find games easily and experienced no lag over my Wi-Fi connection.

Reckless Racing 2
Choose from several upgrades in each category to add power or improve your car's handling. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

Perhaps the biggest difference between Reckless Racing 2 and the original is you now have tons of cars to choose from and several upgrades for each car that will help you qualify for cups. There are now 18 different cars you can purchase with your winnings, each of which resemble real-world cars, but don't have the actual names (probably to avoid licensing conflicts). You also have the option to buy extra credits through in-app purchase, but with some patience you can earn plenty of cash to buy whatever you want.

As you progress, you'll be able to get upgrades for your car in the garage that will improve handling, top speed, and acceleration, and will prepare your car to enter tournaments with strict requirements (like the Real Racing games). Some of these modifications are visible (like whale tails and skirts) and others are in-engine upgrades. You also have the ability to repaint your car and can choose the base color as well as a second option to change the color of the design on your car. All of these customizations give you control over the look and drivability of your car, which were not available options in the original.

Reckless Racing 2
You'll have to take it to the tarmac as well--less sliding, but same great racing action. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

One thing that didn't change in the new version is the fun factor. True to its name, Reckless Racing 2 is a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish as you slide around turns and muscle your way past your opponents. Whether it's the physics or the overall style, something about this game makes it feel just right.

With all of the added tracks, improved scenery, car customization, and newly fleshed-out game modes, Reckless Racing 2 is everything a sequel should be. If you like off-road, slide-around-the-turns racing, this is the best game of its kind in the iTunes App Store and more than worth the introductory price of $4.99 (Universal).

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.