What is it about us guys and our cars? Simple 4-wheeled machines with the primary purpose of getting us from A to B; and yet there’s something so elegant and enchanting about supercars that allures many of us into (almost) impossible fantasies about one day owning one.
Cars have developed into more than straightforward transportation methods and into a form of artwork; with the design being as important as function in many cases, and millions and millions of pounds being spent every year striving to reach an ultimatum of the two. Road Inc is a wonderful museum to showcase some of the greatest cars that ever roamed the earth, head past the break for an in-depth review.
Once you’ve downloaded the rather hefty app, you’ll see that the Ferrari 250 GTO is the only car that comes pre-loaded with the download (and as you see what comes with each car you’ll see why they couldn’t include over 50 cars with the app). You can see the car among a long line of other cars (ones that haven’t been downloaded rather appropriately covered in a white cloth) and selecting your car brings you into the default ‘Profile’ mode, where you can see the car from 4 sides along with a snippet of information below.
There are 3 other basic modes for each car. The ‘Showcase’ is perhaps the grandest of them all. Under each car you will find some of the finest pieces of 3D work you’ll ever see – a beautiful and scarily precise detailed render of the car which can be manipulated at will; allowing you to see the car from a complete 360 degree view. This provides so much more detail that pictures ever could, and lets you feel as if you had the real car right infront of you.
The Essay section of the car provides you with a detailed background on the car, clearly written by people who know what they are talking about and will have you ready to surprise you friends with an entire story on the car. Moving on to the last and most detailed aspect of the car is the Exhibition. This has almost every possible piece of information about said car. Ranging from what the engine sounds like to pictures of its manufacturing process and even original brochures of it.
As you can probably see from the screenshots, this app is not shy of exposing itself. Apart from the stunning 3D renders of the cars, this app is full of delightful design; such as the way the white cloth is removed once a car is downloaded (seriously its worth downloading as many cars as possible just to see the grand removal). The level of passion for design in this app is exceptionally high, and rightly so considering Pyrolia spent over $1million working on this app.
There are examples of beauty found throughout the app, and the thoughtfulness of the small details that are considered to be exclusive to the iOS (and Mac) platform, making it so widely loved and appreciated – nothing has been left looking plain or boring. The inclusion of over 500 high definition photographs and 15 hours of video are elegantly displayed for each car and it really makes the whole experience of discovering more about each car a pleasure.
While this app is not perfect, it has a standard of excellence I have not seen since Our Choice. Images, video and general navigation are manipulated exactly as your hands would wish them to be – think of the Photo app on an iPad and that’s what the experience is like.
Having said that there are some downfalls; for instance the hierarchy of the app can be a little confusing at times with the different ‘modes’ sliding in from the bottom or sides almost randomly. There is the dismissable navigation bar at the top however that makes skipping to and from sections slightly easier, but overall you’re left rather confused as to how to get back to a previous section.
Another gripe I have is that while it’s acceptable that it doesn’t come preloaded with all the cars, the fact that you can only download them one at a time makes the act of completing the collection a rather depressing thought. And some cars, like the Ferrari Enzo seemed to be locked; although I hear it won’t require any in-app purchasing, they are just still working on releasing some of them.
Road Inc is truly a masterpiece and a brilliant showcase of some of the world’s finest cars. Sure there are some niggles (I have had a few crash problems over the days I’ve been using it), but these things happen when any piece of software is in its baby steps, and with the amazing work thats gone into this I’m sure updates will be swift and effective.
If you appreciate cars, or even just good design, I would strongly recommend this to you – it may just be the most beautiful $10 you spend on your iPad.