Painful Play: Audi develops free A4 racing game for iPhone

Audi feels that its customer base is smart, sophisticated and tech-savvy, which is why it should love a well designed game for the iPhone that features the 2009 Audi A4. Note the well-designed bit, because that's key. Audi had Denver's Factory Design Labs whip up a driving game that uses the iPhone's accelerometer as a way to steer the new 2009 A4 through slalom courses. The German automaker boasts that development took just two weeks, though after trying the free download ourselves, we think Audi might want to keep that quiet. Game development normally takes much longer - think years - so the two-week gestation of the "Audi A4 Challenge" is rather apparent. In a word: craptacular.

The top-down graphics are boring, and controlling the vehicle might unintentionally accelerate the iPhone right out of your hands. Adding further frustration is speed control that's got two extremes; the scale equivalent of 35 mph, or stopped. While the game is free, it's not worth the time you'll waste. Perhaps they should let the MMI guys have a crack at it? Press release after the jump

[Source: Audi]


  • New game allows players to drive the entirely new 2009 Audi A4
  • First iPhone application to be released by a major auto manufacturer
  • Application is supported by unique A4 iPhone experience web site
HERNDON, Va., Aug 21, 2008 - Audi of America today announced the release of the first ever iPhone application from an auto manufacturer. "Audi A4 Challenge" is a driving game that utilizes the iPhone's accelerometer (motion sensor) to steer a digital version of Audi's entirely new 2009 A4 through a series of progressively challenging courses. Players maneuver the course and race against the clock to beat their own personal best time. The application is now available free of charge on Apple's iPhone Application Store. The 2009 Audi A4 will be available in Audi dealerships nationwide starting in September of 2008.

"The iPhone is an ideal platform to help introduce the entirely new Audi A4 to the public," said Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer, Audi of America. "Audi customers are smart, sophisticated and technologically savvy. As a brand, we are committed to progress and innovation at every turn. We're very excited to be the first automotive manufacturer to connect with our audience through the iPhone."

Located in Denver, Factory Design Labs, Audi's interactive agency of record designed the game in just two weeks.

"Innovation is the foundation of the Audi brand," said Scott Mellin, CEO of Factory Design Labs. "This is the first application by an automotive OEM, but it's also reinventing the shopping experience. In combination with the A4 iPhone web site, this is the first viable mobile marketing solution in the automotive space. Importantly, it is also a unique way to engage the consumer with the DNA of the Audi brand."

To support the application and the launch of the A4, Audi has also created an A4 iPhone experience web site that allows users to experience and learn more about the entirely new Audi A4. Customers who visit on their iPhone will find a unique interface and content on the A4, specialized videos, wallpapers, an exterior color customizer, a dealer locator and link to install the Audi A4 Challenge application.

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