Race Illegal: High Speed 3D, street racing for Windows Phone 8

Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is one of the more recent racing games available for Windows Phone 8. The game offers nice 3D graphics, several gaming modes and hopes to fill your need for speed.

Along with the multiple gaming modes, Race Illegal: High Speed 3D offers twenty racetracks to conquer and nine cars to choose from and customize. The game has had its fair share of success over on iOS and Android platforms and in taking Race Illegal: High Speed 3D out for a test drive, the game comes across as having similar potential on the Windows Phone 8 platform.

Game Layout

The main menu for Race Illegal: High Speed 3D presents you with a Lazy Susan styled menu with your main gaming options. Along with these options, you will also find options to access the game’s music settings, links to the game’s Facebook and Twitter pages, along with a link to the About Screen from the main menu.

Quick note on the music settings, while you have the option to set the levels for music, sound effects and engine noise you also have the option to choose the style of music played in the background. Music choices include light drum, electronic, acid beats, rock and hard rock. You can access these options from the main Options Menu as well as a music button off the gaming screen.

The Lazy Susan styled menu spins around and offers you access to the game’s options, your achievements, access to more games from the developer and access to the three gaming modes for Race Illegal: High Speed 3D.

Gaming options/settings include:

  • Game Options: Language selection and speed units
  • Controls: Here is where you can choose your steering options (Accelerometer, tap screen or steering wheel)
  • Video Options: Turning on/off slow motion, vibrations and opponents information
  • Avatar: Race Illegal: High Speed 3D’s racer profile allows you to upload a photo that will be used as your avatar throughout the game and during online racing
  • Change Name: Here is where you change your player name
  • Profile: This will present you the option to reset your gaming progress

The three gaming modes for Race Illegal: High Speed 3D include a career mode, quick race mode, and multiplayer mode. They break down as follows.

Career Mode: The Career Mode with Race Illegal: High Speed 3D has you competing across twenty tracks in an effort to become the top racer. You start your career out as a rookie and slowly work your way up through the ranks. The first few races get you familiar with the car’s controls and from there you face a wide range of opponents.

Quick Race Mode: As you would guess, this mode sends you right into a race without all the storyline distractions. Within this mode you have six racing challenges that are progressively unlocked. You begin simple with the challenge being to finish 1st in the race and progress to drift challenges, demolition derby challenges and more. You can choose your race track and world (progressively unlocked) as well as the number of opponents on the track prior to each race.

Multiplayer Mode: Multiplayer Mode is an online race where you can host a game or join a game hosted by another Race Illegal: High Speed 3D gamer.

As you complete races, you will earn prize money that can be used in the Race Illegal: High Speed 3D garage to upgrade your existing car or buy a new ride. In-app purchases are available to buy more coins as well as remove the ad banners ($.99).

Garage access is done through the racing menu on the Career Mode (tire icon in the bottom corner) and prior to the Quick Race and Multiplayer Modes (no engine tuning in the garage for Quick Races).

Game Play

Game play with Race Illegal: High Speed 3D isn’t much different than any other racing game. Personally, I like the tilt controls for steering best but the tap controls (tapping either side of the screen) wasn’t that bad.

Across the top of the gaming screen (from left to right) you will find  a music selector button, your lap counter, race position, and your time/damage icon.  Across the bottom of the screen (again, from left to right) you will find a rear view mirror, a pause button, a camera view button, a brake pedal and your speedometer.

Tap the rear view mirror and the screen view will change to let you see who is on your tail. Swiping up at your speedometer will activate the nitrous booster with the booster level being illustrated by the flaming ring that appears just above your speedometer.

As you zip along the various city streets and hit things (oncoming traffic, light poles, trashcans, other racers, etc.) your car will take on damage. Damage that will be indicated on your damage icon. If the impact is severe, the screen will turn dark red (simulating the concussion you’ve just experienced?) for a short time that limits your visibility.

It does take a little time to get used to the control responses and don’t be surprised if you hit the wall a good bit while you gauge this responsiveness. The first few lessons or challenges with the Career Mode serve as a tutorial and walk you through game play rather nicely. I would recommend going through these first few lessons before delving into the Quick Race or Multiplayer modes.

Overall Impression

I really wanted to like Race Illegal: High Speed 3D but I couldn’t feel as though something was holding the game back. Graphics were nice but lacked that 3D pop we see with other racing games such as Asphalt 7.

The ad-supported version isn’t terrible with ads showing up on menu pages and in transition between game play and menus. The game screen for races is ad-free, which is a rather nice thing, and gives you an un-obstructed view of game play. The multiplayer games are also a nice touch and gives Race Illegal: High Speed 3D a little more staying power. It is a nice break from racing the computer.

As far as stability goes, I did experience a few endless load screens that required me to exit the game and restart to clear. The frequency wasn’t enough to drive me to uninstall the game but it was noticeable.

All in all, Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is a nice racing game for Windows Phone 8. I think if you add a dash more pop to the graphics and tighten up the steering response, it could be a better game (that and fix the game load bugs).

Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is a free, ad-supported game that is available for Windows Phone 8. It is showing available from my Nokia Lumia 520 and you can find Race Illegal: High Speed 3D here in the Windows Phone Store.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.