When you’ve played a game like Gran Turismo 5, your standards for all other racing games are pretty high. Unfair as it sounds, car racing games on the iPhone don’t really have a chance to give you the same sense of satisfaction when you’ve played an hour – or about 1,000 hours – of GT5.

Having said that though, Gameloft’s GT Racing: Motor Academy is one of the few games on the iPhone that can go above and beyond the invisible GT Wall because, well, it kind of looks and plays like one of those old Gran Turismo games.

The whole concept of the game is pretty much the same as the GT series. You need to earn a license to be able to race. You can buy cars from the dealerships with over 100 models from 24 real life brands with some pretty awesome car selections. You can go over to the tuning shops and put in some new performance packages. And when you win races, you win money that you can spend on – what else? – cars!

Needless to say, GT Racing took the whole Gran Turismo formula and turned into a pretty awesome iPhone game.

Hit the jump for the details.


GT Racing: Motor Academy by Gameloft Screenshots / Gameplay
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The key to making good graphics in a mobile app race game is to work within your means. That means detailing the cars and the surroundings while knowing your limitations. It’s not going to be as graphically outstanding as GT5, so don’t shoot for that star. Work with what you have and make it as believable as you can without compromising game quality for good graphics. On that end, Gameloft seems to have figured out that formula. The graphics aren’t anything to shout about, but the details are there. The cars look believable and the tracks look like they’re tailor-made for the game. Using their means, Gameloft’s graphics for GT Racing is good enough for our liking.


GT Racing: Motor Academy by Gameloft Screenshots / Gameplay
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Gameloft uses the unique tilt steering method that seems to be prevalent in a lot of mobile car games these days. The good thing about GT Racing is that its version of the tilt-steer is about as sharp as any game we’ve played on this type of platform. The cars respond instantaneously and with great precision, which bodes well for those gamers who easily get rattled by other car games with oversensitive tilt-steering programs. From somebody who plays these games regularly, having great controls at a platform like an iPhone is a win in itself.


GT Racing: Motor Academy by Gameloft Screenshots / Gameplay
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GT Racing’s career mode is also similar to how Gran Turismo works. Before you get the chance to get behind the wheel as a racer, you need to pass a series of driving tests first. Yeah, we’ve seen that before. When you pass the tests that increase in difficulty and complexity as you move forward, you can compete in a series of races on fourteen tracks. GT Racing’s preference for technical driving and precision makes the game sort of like a mini Gran Turismo, except with vastly inferior graphics. Let’s have some perspective here anyway, folks. GT Racing is played on the iPhone whereas GT5 is on the Playstation 3. Big difference there, so you can’t expect the former to have graphics as sharp as the latter.

And in another rather obvious ode to Gran Turismo 5, GT Racing also has a car purchase and customization program that allows you to use your winnings by either buying new cars to add to your garage, or buying customization programs for your existing vehicles. For those of you who don’t have a PS3 – or even a PSP – then GT Racing is about as close to a game as you’ll come to playing Gran Turismo. That fact alone makes this game a worthy download.

Interactivity is also a unique feature in GT Academy as Gameloft has included an online multi-player that allows gamers to put their skills to the test against other people for a nice competitive racing shakedown.


GT Racing: Motor Academy by Gameloft Screenshots / Gameplay
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Pretty pricey - $7 - by its standards, but it gives you the closest resemblance to playing Gran Turismo 5 on your iPhone, so it should be worth every nickel and dime.

Awesome Scale

Score: 8.5

We like the whole concept of GT Racing, especially because we enjoy the experience of slowly going up the ranks while improving your skills, acquiring new cars, and being responsible for every nook and cranny of them.

What Others Are Saying

GT Racing: Motor Academy by Gameloft Screenshots / Gameplay
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iLounge’s Take: "Gameloft deserves some commendation here. Just don’t expect to be amazed by anything except for its depth, which will keep simulation fans interested and playing for much longer than anyone else."

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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  (347) posted on 08.22.2011

This car game is one of the best car game in the history. This would be my chance to drive the most impressive vehicle in the world of sportscar.

  (517) posted on 08.22.2011

One of the awesome tools offer by the car game. I was impressed with the feature of the game.

  (528) posted on 03.30.2011

I have to admit that I totally fall in love on this car. However, I want to give an opportunity for the NFS that has currently released a newer version.

  (211) posted on 03.25.2011

No doubt about that! GT5 is the best racing game that I have played. This new released car come up with cool features that everyone will enjoy. The graphics are kind of real just like NFS. 

  (410) posted on 03.18.2011

I don’t like the graphics of this game and besides its in the iPhone.
The stages is still limited and i have my xbox 360 so I’m not needing this one.

  (401) posted on 02.3.2011

Actually, my mom has a 2010 Outback and the new crossbeam built in the rails, that can be moved is pretty awesome. Almost genius I would say!

  (445) posted on 02.3.2011

Just took of my crossbars and threw them in the garage for my ’06, and I’d drop the monstrous contraption on the roof of the current model in a heartbeat if it were an option

  (806) posted on 12.14.2010

well of course what do you expect? get it for free?... there are no freebies today for apple...

  (506) posted on 12.12.2010

Though the graphics and controls may quash some players’ interest, others will be completely ed in by the game’s depth and features. There’s an arcade mode that’s a little too light on action to be really exciting for single-player action, but does provide instant access to enough of GT Racing’s cool cars and tracks to let players immediately start having fun.

  (798) posted on 12.9.2010

well of course they will do a hard work here because they are already getting left behind by other game developer out there.

  (460) posted on 12.9.2010

same here, I’ve already saw it one Iphone with my friend, the interior of the car is well detailed even the smallest parts in dash it totally visible, plus the gameplay is totally awesome.

  (73) posted on 12.9.2010

I’m getting this one. Lately my thirst for car games and shooters are increasing so I think I will spend more time playing!!

  (433) posted on 12.8.2010

impressive graphics, I bet gameloft is already have fund to make their graphics more detailed and clearer than before.

  (702) posted on 12.8.2010

impressive graphics, I bet gameloft is already have fund to make their graphics more detailed and clearer than before.

  (2) posted on 12.8.2010

i have this game on my ipod touch. it is incredible!

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