Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli is a racing game for the Nintendo DS. There are similar titles released for other consoles such as the Playstation 3, but this is a separately written game and has lots of good things about it.
In terms of the game play, getting into the game is quite easy as the controls are easy to master. There is also a long and comprehensive tutorial section of the game so that you can get used to the car handling. Both text appears on the screen and there are audio clips to help you learn what the best racing line is and how to approach some of the corners.
When playing you can get extra points for keeping the right driving line, taking corners effectively and also for smooth overtaking. To master the game takes longer, as you will have to become very experienced with each track and really have to race each track perfectly. I got a little tired of the game at this point as I was rarely able to maintain perfection, but it was enjoyable being able to continue getting faster each time of playing.
The game isn't playing using the stylus or touch-screen given the style of game that this is. Instead you have to use the D-pad to control the steering and other driving controls, which seemed to all be very logical and easy to use.
There are a number of different ways of playing the game, you can either play a full championship season, time trial challenges and also the practice mode already mentioned. The championship will take some considerable time to complete, which does increase the length of time you might spend playing the game, although the difficulty curve was too hard for me to be able to complete it personally (although I'm really not that good at games!).
To have made it better, I would have liked to have seen more tracks which were possibly more challenging. The tracks did sometimes seem a little repetitive, like some of the early racing game for the first Playstation console. That repetitiveness did for me limit the length of interest that I had in the game.
There is another sub-game which you can play as you progress through the game. This is an interesting addition to the game and is similar to top trumps, the card game. This feature really does enhance the two player game option, encouraging you to try to win more races to have a better chance in the game against real-life opponents!
Graphics wise, the 3D graphics are very impressive given the limitations of the console, and show a lot more professionalism and effort than many other DS games. The whole game seemed very smooth to play although when cornering the edges can be a bit jagged, but this was to me a minor problem which didn't impact on the game play. I also found that occasionally the game claimed that I had hit another car when I thought that I had left enough space.
The game also features a multi player mode so that up to four different players can play the game at the same time. This does work well and extends the life of the game. There are different options you can choose depending on whether everyone has separate game cartridges, or you just have one cartridge.
The game is rated 3+, so is suitable for nearly all children. The game is currently available for 11.75 pounds on Amazon, compared to the recommended retail price of 29.99 pounds. If you don't need a new copy, second-hand copies are available for just a few pounds currently on eBay.
So overall, the game was enjoyable and I was surprised at how I hadn't heard more of this game, given the effort that the programmers have put in to create a polished product. I did get a bit bored of the game after a while when perfection was required to progress, as it did all get a bit samey, but it was fun whilst it lasted. In my opinion, this is definitely worth getting if you like racing games, and at just over a tenner for a new copy, that seems like very good value for money to me.