VW Scirocco 24H Challenge is inaccurately titled

Volkswagen and Fish Labs have partnered to create an iPhone/iPod Touch game featuring the Scirocco R.

VW Scirocco splash screen
VW/Fish Labs

Volkswagen and Fish Labs have partnered to create yet another iPhone/iPod Touch advertisement, err, game. This time around, VW is giving you the opportunity to pull the Scirocco R out of your pocket and take it for a spin around the Nurburgring.

The game's title is a bit misleading. You don't actually get to complete a full 24-hour endurance race, which I'm sure would be impossible with the handheld's battery life. Rather, the game drops you in at last leg of the race in 11th place with 23 hours and 50 minutes already on the clock--just enough time for two more hot laps. I'm guessing VW Scirocco 10-minute Challenge was just too stupid of a name, necessitating this gimmick.

There's also a Time Trial mode, as well as a multiplayer option. Of course, the app includes the requisite links to order brochures and find your local VW dealer--which, if you live in the United States, will definitely not have the Euro-market only Scirocco in stock.

screenshot of gameplay
While we don't get the Scirocco R in the U.S., we may get the Golf R20, which is mechanically identical. VW/Fish Labs

The gameplay itself is about what you'd expect from a marketing piece. There's only one vehicle to choose from (the titular 265 horsepower VW Scirocco R) in four colors and there's only one track. Users are given the option of steering with the iPhone's accelerometer or by touching onscreen directional arrows. Likewise, the game features onscreen gas and brake pedals that are tapped with the thumbs.

As a Nurburgring veteran (in Gran Turismo 4 for PS2), it's fairly obvious that the track in VW's 24H Challenge is more of an homage to the Green Hell, as it is far from accurate. Famous turns such as the Carousel are missing and the final straight past Nurburg Castle isn't nearly long enough. So, don't go thinking that your 4:25.604 lap time means that the Scirocco R is a Porsche-slayer. It's only a game.

The steering is sluggish and unresponsive and the accelerometer doesn't ever seem to level out for the straights. Every time you touch the brakes, the Scirocco lays down thick skid marks--which is an odd design choice, because I'm sure the real-life 'Rocco is equipped with ABS.

At the end of the day, I'm willing to forgive VW Scirocco 24H Challenge of all of these gripes because it's free and available now in the Apple iTunes Store.

 

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