With perfect touch controls, varied racing levels, a few hours of story, and plenty of replay value, Data Wing would be a bargain for a few dollarpounds. On Android, the game finds the trigger-happy star gracefully sailing through the air in arc-like leaps and periodically shooting goons. Drags and taps are all you need to succeed – or fail when you fall short and impale the ‘hero’ on spikes.
Top stuff. This game does for racing what auto-runners do for platform games. If anything, they become a boon, shifting the focus to learning track layouts and razor-sharp timing. Initially, all seems well, but it soon becomes clear Mother has some electrons loose, not least when you start getting glimpses of a world beyond the silicon. Before long though, you’ll start to grasp the game’s various nuances and more rapidly piece together the steps required to get to the checkered flag intact – or escape the cops in surprisingly tense takedown levels.
That’s perhaps slightly surprising, considering that Apple’s own attempts at shrinking screen sizes – with the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini – have reportedly not generated the kind of sales that Apple would have been hoping for from its smallest flagship. If the information revealed in this leak is accurate – and given the track record of the source, there’s good reason to believe that it is – then it looks as though fans of compact phones have something to look forward to when the Galaxy S22 arrives (which will probably be in January). We will of course let you know what we think of the new smartphone once it’s available to buy.
And check back every month for our latest pick. One Tap Rally is controlled with a single finger, pressing on the screen to accelerate and releasing to brake, while your car steers automatically. You guide your little triangular ship around neon courses, scooting across boost pads, and scraping track edges for a bit of extra speed. The larger-than-life branched courses – hyper-real takes on real-world locations – are madcap and exciting. This racer also differentiates itself by streamlining controls to the point you needn’t steer.
Not one for the simulation crowd, then, but this racer is perfect for everyone else. It’s absurd to think that one of the best mobile racers on Android is about flicking a coin around a race track, but there we have it. Sadly, there are no leagues, and Beach Buggy Racing 2 only ever offers you two race choices at any given time. We have heard several rumors around the battery capacities of the Galaxy S22 phones: it was only yesterday that a separate source revealed the same battery capacity of 3,700mAh, so it looks likely that this information is indeed correct. But the game’s tongue-in-cheek humor survives, sitting nicely alongside bouncy physics, madcap sort-of-racing, and deranged cops attempting to crush you into oblivion should you cross their path.
Being an Asphalt game, there’s some grind, but this is offset by you being immersed in the most outlandish and eye-dazzling arcade racing on Android. That might sound reductive, but this doesn’t detract from the racing feel, it gives you a keen sense of focus on timing, and there’s a manual option if you really want that. But the mix of speed and strategy, along with a decent range of tracks, makes you forget about the simplistic controls. Whether you’re into word games, endless runners, platformers or puzzles, there’s something here for you. For free, it’s absurdly generous.
Well-known tipster Ice Universe says that the base Galaxy S22 model is going to come with a 6.06-inch display, whereas the S21 equivalent has a 6.2-inch screen (with a 1080 x 2400 pixel resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, and 120Hz refresh rate). Disc Drivin’ 2 is the turn-based driving game which was presumably created when someone reimagined shuffleboard as Mario Kart and shoved that strange concoction online for web-based multiplayer contests. Splash Cars therefore becomes a fun game of fleeing from the fuzz, zooming past buildings by a hair’s breadth, grabbing petrol and coins carelessly left lying about, and trying to hit an amount-painted target before the timer runs out. The aim is to not hit the sides of the track, because that slows you down.
Their world is dull and grey, but your magical vehicle brings colour to anything it goes near. It’s the same with the battery capacity: if the dimensions of the Galaxy S22 are shrinking, then battery life could still be perfectly fine. Code Racer takes racing game conventions and throws them out the window, so rather than bombing around a circuit, your twitchy reactions being the only thing keeping your car from flipping over, you instead define your route by way of basic programming-style commands. It masquerades as a racer, but often feels like you’re hunting prey – albeit while encased in a suit of speeding metal.
But there’s something else going on here – an underlying narrative where you discover you’re, in fact, ferrying bits of data about, all under the eye of an artificially intelligent Mother. There are downsides – cynical IAPs and timers abound, welding a massive comedy tailfin to this otherwise sleek racer’s stylings. Naturally, your aim is to get to the checkered flag first, across just two laps. Still, it’s generous that you can play through the entire game for nothing, and if the ads irk, you can be rid of them for $2.99/£2.19/AU$3.99. We’ve seen the iPhone 13 now, so what does the Samsung Galaxy S22 have to offer?
A screen size and battery capacity that are both smaller than what we currently have with the standard Galaxy S21 model, according to the latest leaks. In the world of Splash Cars, it appears everyone’s a miserable grump apart from you. The game’s freeform ‘arenas’ are networks of roads in a dystopian future.
In a neat touch, said opponents are recordings of real-world attempts by other players, ranked by time. Succeed and you go on to bigger and better locations, with increasingly powerful cars.
Samsung Galaxy S22 screen and battery could both be smaller than the S21
p> Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. We’ve no idea what substances the creators enjoyed when coming up with that plot, but the end result is tasty. It has you belt along at insane speeds, regularly soaring into the air, your car spinning and pinwheeling in a manner that’d have your car insurance company angrily tear up your policy documents.
Today, the lo-fi violence seems quaint. But the compulsion loop is extremely strong, the upgrade/unlock path reasonable, and the racing action some of the best around on Android. Asphalt 9: Legends, like its predecessors, is a decidedly nitro-happy, larger-than-life take on arcade racing. There’s also the tiny snag of a petrol tank that runs dry alarmingly quickly. Remember too that the Galaxy S22 Plus and Ultra models will offer large screen sizes.
The police aren’t happy about this and aim to bring your hue-based shenanigans to a close, by ramming your car into oblivion. It then decided against bothering with such a trifling issue, and decided it’d much prefer you to pelt along at insane speeds under the power of glorious nitro, which frequently sends your car soaring into the air. A screen size of a little over 6 inches isn’t quite into iPhone 12 mini territory, as we mentioned above. In fact, the tipster says that the Galaxy S22 is going to be "Samsung’s smallest flagship phone in recent years", with a length, width and thickness that are "a little smaller" than what the standard iPhone 13 offers.
Win and you move up the rankings, then playing a tougher, faster opponent. But for dizzying speed, mid-air barrel rolls, and loads of laughs, this racer is tough to beat. My Friend Pedro is a violent platform game with Matrix slo-mo and a protagonist dedicated to annihilating everyone in their path at the behest of a sentient banana whose family has been kidnapped. Carmageddon is a blast from the past of PC gaming. Beach Buggy Racing 2 is a high-octane kart racer.
The Google Pixel 5 only comes with a 6-inch display, and it’s a perfectly capable smartphone. That’s not to say the racing bit isn’t great – because it is. To do this, you must find shortcuts, and make use of power-ups that can turn opponents into a block of ice, blast them into the heavens, and far more besides. Genshin Impact was Voted Best Mobile Game at the TechRadar Choice Awards 2021 Asphalt 8: Airborne is a high-octane racer that gave a cursory glance towards realism.
Click through to the next pages to see each category or read on below for our pick of the month. In the 1990s, this was shocking to the point of Carmageddon being banned in some countries. Track TV Receivers On TechRadar you’ll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables.
In essence, this is a digital take on slot-racing, then, without the slots. Victories come by way of completing laps, wrecking all your opponents, or mowing down every living thing in the vicinity. The car moves on rails, with you swiping between lanes, and timing actions like boosts and drifts. You will learn to master shortcuts, zip past hazards, and also how to make best use of bonus powers afforded to your little disc. True to form, your dinky vehicle belts along larger-than-life tracks, taking in everything from medieval castles with fire-breathing dragons, to an ancient world full of dinosaurs – and gigantic sea creatures you can bounce off.
There are so many excellent free Android games in the Google Play Store, it can be hard to know where to begin looking for something new to play. Rather than doing laps around a boring circuit surrounded by gravel traps, you blast through rocket launch sites, and blaze through volcanos. At first, Code Racer relies on a lot of trial and error as you define acceleration, braking and turn times, and power levels.
It’s hard enough to go around a corner, let alone face levels with jumps, moving platforms and other terrifying hazards. Miss this one at your peril. People and cows blithely amble about while deranged drivers smash each other to pieces. The odd puzzle and a 3D motorbike chase breaks up the platforming action – as do a lot of ads.
Data Wing has the appearance of a minimal top-down racer, but it’s far, far more than that. The concept of a turn-based racer is bonkers and it shouldn’t work, but it really does. As you flick your little disc about tracks suspended in space, the tension ramps up as you home in on your opponent. Ice Universe has more to say on the Galaxy S22, predicting that it’s going to come with a battery capacity of 3,700mAh, which is significantly less than the 4,000mAh battery capacity that its predecessor the Galaxy S21 offers.
That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the very best games in every genre. Our favorite free Android 3D, retro, 2D and on-rails racers. We’re always keen to hear leaks and rumors around what phone companies could be planning in the future, but it’s worth remembering that the raw specs don’t matter to a large extent – it’s the quality and the user experience of the finished phone that’s most important.