Review: GTS World Racing by Handmark

This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Big-Named Games & Inspirational Apps. Additional details may be found in the original article.

We love 3-D racing games—so much so that our first iPhone Gems roundup was focused on them. You can now add to that list Handmark’s GTS World Racing ($8), a title which unfortunately feels underdeveloped relative to the others we’ve previously reviewed. It starts on promising notes: you can choose from traditional or Formula One cars, 16 different countries, and 4 difficulty levels. The steering, despite being accelerometer-based and imperfect, does not suck. There’s decent rock music in the background. And almost everything’s in 3-D, from the cars to the backgrounds. This is all good.

Review: GTS World Racing by Handmark

Review: GTS World Racing by Handmark

Review: GTS World Racing by Handmark

Unfortunately, the game isn’t comparable to the best Sony, Sega, or Namco racers people have enjoyed over the past 10 years; rather, it’s about as advanced as Namco’s disappointing Pole Position: Remix for the iPod. Unlike any of the other titles we’ve looked at for the iPhone, the different countries consist basically of a different flat piece of background art and small changes to the roadside scenery. One country will have palm trees, another cactuses. They all have drab-looking tunnels, and none have any elevated surfaces. And while the engine provides a solid frame rate, even with a few cars on screen at once, nothing ever approaches the detail or visual interest level of Cro-Mag Racing, Wingnuts Moto Racer, or Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart. It’s just stage after stage of bland driving on tracks that are highly samey—steps behind first-generation PlayStation and PlayStation Portable Namco titles such as the Ridge Racers.


Review: GTS World Racing by Handmark

Review: GTS World Racing by Handmark

None of this is to say that GTS World Racing is a bad game; it’s not. But for $8, a driving game needs more than just simple texture swaps and differences in curves to be interesting. To Handmark’s credit, GTS World Racing is about as exciting as Pole Position: Remix from a gameplay perspective, and better graphically, but its higher price drops it down a little in our view. iLounge Rating: C.

Table of Contents

Our Rating


Company and Price

Company: Handmark


Title: GTS World Racing

Price: $8

Compatible: iPhones, iPod touches, iPads*

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