Asphalt 9 (£free + IAP)
There are two ways to approach racing games: you can recreate ‘reality’ by crafting a ‘simulation’ and making the tracks very grey; or you can go crazy. Asphalt takes the latter route.
In this unhinged nitro-fest, you belt along at breakneck speeds, regularly catapulting your car into the air in a manner totally unacceptable under your insurance plan. And you don’t even need to steer. Although you can go traditional for controls, Asphalt by default pulls a Super Mario Run, urging you to swipe and prod to time actions (jumps; nitros; drifts), while the game itself points you in the right direction.
It shouldn’t work. It really does. Only avoid if you’re grumpy, old, and hate breezy arcade lawks.
Rush Rally 3 (£4.99)
There’s plenty of stripped-back arcade racing fare on Android, but Rush Rally 3 puts its foot down and blasts off in the opposite direction. Despite the low price-tag, this is full-on console-style rally larks on your phone.
OK, so the visuals might not quite match those of your telly console, but the courses look gorgeous as they blaze past at 60fps, bathing your eyes in all kinds of weather conditions – just before you smack into a tree.
There’s loads to do, too. Only got a few minutes? Grind metal with AI opponents in rally cross. In it for the long haul? Forge a career as the new Colin McRae. Either way, this is a superb mobile racer.
Touchgrind BMX 2 (free + IAP)
Most trials games have you trying to coax a rider along lumpy side-scrolling circuits – without landing them on their head. Touchgrind BMX 2, though, pretty much puts you in the saddle.
The viewpoint is from above your bike, and you use two digits to, respectively, control the handlebars and seat. When your bike’s hurled into the air (which happens frequently), you perform a dazzling airborne choreography by way of flicks and swipes.
At least you do after a while. At first, Touchgrind BMX 2 is crash city; but commit the stunts and tracks to memory, and this cracker will cement itself in your brain as a wheelie good Android title.