CSR Racing from NaturalMotion Games was one of those unexpected drive away hits that we get so often on the app store. They managed to capture that mysterious lightning in a bottle and stand out among the thousands of freemium games out there, topping some charts along the way. If you apply a freemium pricing model, with a premium currency along with a gas tank that limits the amount of races you can do each day, to a simple drag racing mini-game, you pretty much have CSR Racing. So how does the sequel, CSR Classics, change things up? Classic cars. That's about it.
It might not sound like much, but the big appeal of this game is growing your car collection, fine tuning and upgrading each car to the best it can possibly be, so when you're doing that to some of the greatest classic cars ever made, it makes you feel like something of a connoisseur as you lovingly restore old rust buckets into shining racing gods. The actual racing is pretty simple, which allows for more resources to go to the graphics, which really helps show off these beautiful rides. Basically, you accelerate, starting off strongly, before shifting at the right moments, when you have good traction, and using a nitrous boost somewhere along the way. It's simple as heck, but nuanced enough that it doesn't really get old like you'd expect.
There are several different race types on the map. Ladder races that get increasingly more difficult. Crew battles that let you take on bosses when you're ready. Daily battles that put you in a predetermined car for a quick challenge. And the regulation races, which let you set the difficulty tier. This is pretty much where you'll farm money once you the ladder and boss challenges become too much. There's also a mechanic that can fine tune your car for the premium currency, temporarily boosting it and letting you win races you wouldn't otherwise be able to. The racing generally feels a bit more realistic this time around too.
Upgrading your car can make you feel like a kid in a candy store. With a basic restore option, plus upgrades for nitro, tires, exhaust, engine, carburetor, and more, you really feel like you're fine tuning your baby, which you can also paint! Special decals that you purchase give you bonus cash each time you race, so those flames on your ride don't just look awesome. The freemium elements are what they are. I don't care for them one bit, but they still didn't keep me from enjoying this game each day as I depleted my gas meter. If you liked the first game, you'll love this one, and there's no reason you can't jump into the series right now either. Burn some rubber!