Hard Racing — created, modeled, and coded by designer David Linan Reyes — is an exciting new iPhone racer made for “hard men only.” (However, after contacting the developer, I was assured that sissies and wusses can play the game, too, which means I am qualified to give the title a look.)

At first glance, it’s obvious that Reyes has taken heavy inspiration from EA’s Reckless Racing in his approach to the genre. But that’s a decidedly good thing; and, while Hard Racing doesn’t have near the track options or feature set of that bestselling powerhouse, it is an exceedingly well-made effort. I asked Reyes about any similarities, and he told me:

I love Reckless Racing. It’s an amazing racing game. [Hard Racing] is an homage, but it has distinct elements that make it unique, such as dynamic scenarios and destructible and interactive elements that affect the race.

Reckless Racing's influence is everywhere.

Reyes is particularly proud of the flashy night courses on offer, and his home-built physics engine is remarkably solid: Drifts feel appropriately wild and almost out of control, while AI racers try fervently to wedge and flip your classic Camaro at every turn. The soundtrack is a pumping ’70s retro riff, and the game’s 3D graphics are gritty and atmospheric. Even the menus are fun!

Back (to your mom's house).

After six months of solo, spare-time tinkering, Hard Racing is the culmination of one man’s game-making dream. At $1.99, there’s enough content to justify a purchase, and updates aplenty are surely in store.