There is no doubt that currently the biggest growth area in horse racing gaming is with apps for smartphones; iphones and android, and to a lesser extent for ipads and android-based tablets. No longer do horse racing fans need to be glued to their desktops or games consoles. Now, it is totally possible to experience horse racing games on the go. Smartphone apps range from fairly basic race prediction games, similar to virtual racing to fully-fledged simulators.
With rapid market expansion, it is hardly surprising to see vast numbers of apps appearing for both android and ios platforms. The quality of the software and level of product support can vary greatly. And so here we try to separate the wheat from the chaff and reveal what we consider to be the best horse racing games available for mobiles. These are our top five choices:
1. Rival Stars Horse Racing
Our choice for the top spot goes to Pikpok’s Rival Stars Horse Racing. Developers Pikpok know a thing or two about horse racing simulation having been involved with Phar Lap Horse Racing Challenge, the popular game for Xbox and Playstation.
The focus here is on stable management and breeding and we particularly like the thoughtfully crafted backstory. The game has plenty going on with selective breeding, buying and selling of horses as well as the opportunity to develop abilities through training. You have the choice whether to ride the races yourself or to hire a jockey.
The game has a much more polished feel than many of the alternative smartphone games. The graphics are slicker than most too. As you might expect, while technically free to play, in-app purchases are available for upgrades. It can prove quite pricey. All in though, Rival Stars Horse Racing gets our vote for the number one horse racing simulation for mobile. It is available for android from Google Play and for iphone from the Apple App Store.
2. Photo Finish Horse Racing
Perhaps the most complete horse racing simulation available as a smartphone app, our second choice is officially the highest rated among the most popular games. The android version has more than 5 million downloads, with an impressive average rating of 4.8. It scores just a shade lower on iphone at 4.7.
Develop your stable, try to breed a champion and race against players from around the world. Hire a jockey or ride yourself and compete in local events. Progress to championship status and take your chance in the Derby.
As is the norm, Photo Finish is free to play but in-app purchases and upgrades are available. Some users have suggested that it can become quite expensive. This is the first of two games from developer Tilting Point to feature in our list. It is available for android from the Google Play store and for iphone from the Apple app store.
3. Horse Racing Manager 2019
This is the second game in our selection from developer, Tilting Point. So, don’t be surprised to find a some similarities between this game and Photo Finish.
Horse Racing Manager, as the name suggests, is as close to a full version horse racing simulation as you are likely to find in a mobile app. You have the opportunity to breed a virtual stable of horses, matching those with desirable traits to produce foals that inherit unique skills and special attributes. Improve and upgrade horses through carefully planned training routines and methods. Maintain peak condition to ensure optimal performance in live player versus player races.
While technically free to play, like most mobile games, in-app purchases are available and free gameplay will have limitations. Horse Racing Manager 2019 is available for android from Google Play where it achieves where it achieves an overall rating of 4.6. Also available for iphone/ipad from the Apple App Store, where it scores 4.5.
4. Horse Racing 3D
Coming from developer Candy Mobile, Horse Racing 3D is the only game to make our list which is available as an app for android only.
Although it claims to be “the most authentic racing simulation game” this one is in fact more of a straightforward riding and racing game. Try to balance your speed and stamina for optimum performance while attempting to negotiate the obstacles and jumps and ultimately steer your horse to reach the World Championships.
More glitches reported by users of this app than with other games is probably the main reason why it scores a slightly lower 4.3 rating. Still, with more than 10 million installs it remains one of the most popular games of its type.
As you would expect, upgrades are available via in-app purchases. Horse Racing 3D is available for android only, via the Google Play store.
5. Virtual Horse Racing 3D
This is by far the simplest game in our selection. Virtual Horse Racing 3d is particularly well named as it more closely resembles the virtual horse racing products such as those operated by 49s than any other game included here. We know that many of our visitors are brought here by an interest in Steepledowns and similar virtual racetracks and so it seems pertinent to feature a game that does a decent job of replicating those experiences.
The premise here is simply to study the horses and jockeys, make your selections and place your bets. Once your bets are down, you can watch the race unfold just as you might with a wager placed on racing at Portman Park. Once the race is completed and the result determined, your winnings or losses are calculated and your balance updated.
While there is no real money involved, this game does have more of a gambling related theme. This explains the PEGI 12+ rating, higher than any other of the games we’ve featured here.
The game has been developed by Natenai Ariyatrakool and has more than 10 million downloads from the Google Play store, with an average rating of 4.2. It scores only 3.4 with iphone users. Virtual Horse Racing 3D is available here for android and here for iphone.