Unlike earlier games in the series, Real Racing 3 is free to play, with time-based freemium mechanics. Wait times have been implemented for repairs, upgrades, and additional vehicle unlocks, which can be sped up with the purchase of gold coins.
Our sister site TouchArcade has published a review of the game, explaining both the upsides and the downsides of the freemium gameplay.
Real Racing 3 is a weird game to review. On one hand, it's free, and is the absolute best looking game available on the App Store right now. You need to experience the sights and sounds of the game as it is downright jaw-dropping to see what Firemonkeys has accomplished on a technical level. On the other, it feels incredibly strange to take a genre that's typically very hardcore and wrapping it in free to play trimmings with hard timer-based stopping points. The juxtaposition between awesome adrenalin-fueled racing and the "Sorry bro, insert coin or come back later" is very, very odd.TouchArcade has also released a guide on how to spend conservatively in the game, recommending specific cars, damage mitigation, and strategic repairs.
Real Racing 3 is currently available in the App Store for free. [Direct Link]