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iPhone  header logo

F1 Challenge

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

It's (touch) and go, go, go!

Product: F1 Challenge | Publisher: Codemasters | Format: iPhone | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
 
F1 Challenge iPhone, thumbnail 1
Codemasters has done an excellent job of replicating the thrill of Formula One on home consoles, but now the studio is trying to bring the same high-octane excitement to slightly smaller screens in the shape of F1 Challenge.

If you're expecting the same level of depth and involvement as the PS3 and Xbox 360 entries then you might as well give up now - this pint-sized iOS offering is all about simplistic entertainment and short-burst play.

Viewed from a top-down perspective, F1 Challenge keeps things as basic as possible in terms of controls - you slide your finger up and down the right-hand side of the screen to turn, while a tap on the left-hand side activates your K.E.R.S. boost (if you're left-handed there's the option to flip these controls).

Starter's orders

Acceleration and braking are both handled automatically, which means you're basically in charge of making sure the car is where it needs to be on the track.

This is actually harder than it sounds, as you need to judge your entry and exit from tight corners to perfection if you want to beat some of the more taxing challenges.

IAPs explained
You can choose to unlock all of the available challenges in two ways - 69p / 99c for a single team or £1.99 / $2.99 for the entire game.

To be honest, doing so removes the need to actually play F1 Challenge, and is sure to sully your long-term enjoyment.

If you like the on-track action enough to even consider unlocking all of the content, you're much better off just earning it the hard way.
Throw the car about like Bruno Senna and you'll come unstuck, but emulate Jenson Button's smooth wheelwork and you'll lose less speed when approaching a bend.

Each team has its own set of challenges, all based on data from last year's Formula One championship - which means Lewis Hamilton is still at McLaren and Michael Schumacher continues to disappoint at Mercedes. If you're a stickler for having up-to-date stats, this could end up being an annoyance.

Racing line

Completing challenges grants you stars, which in turn unlock more advanced challenges. You'll need to move between teams to grab as many as you can, which is a neat way of ensuring you don't continually favour Red Bull and Ferrari over the likes of Caterham and HRT F1 (rest in peace).

The big issue here is that many of the challenges are indistinguishable from one another, and while most are short and sweet enough for you to overlook this problem the lack of variety really begins to tell after you've spent an hour or so playing.

It's a shame, because the actual racing element is exciting - especially when you're dashing down a straight with K.E.R.S. fully engaged, gaining on your opponent with the finishing line in sight.

Ultimately, F1 Challenge offers a rather watered-down and repetitive replication of the popular motorsport - it's diverting enough to keep you busy for a day or two, but it's about as deep and meaningful as a post-race press conference with Kimi Raikkonen.
 
F1 Challenge
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 15 October 2013
Instantly accessible and enjoyable in short bursts, F1 Challenge doesn't offer the complexity of its home console parent. Nevertheless, it will please fans of the sport
 
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