Need For Speed Shift [rating: 4.5/5]
EA Mobile is certainly having a great new year with 15 game titles in the Top 100 paid apps category. EA have have been successful in achieving high quality gaming experience with NFSU for iPhone. We reviewed Need For Speed: Undercover in May and it scored a perfect 5 star rating.
If you love racing games and want to choose the best one it might just be a little difficult as there are are some exceptional racing games in the App Store. Asphalt 5, Fast & Furious The Game, Real Racing and Fastlane Street Racing give you a range of options to choose from and each game offers great graphics and gameplay. So does Need For Speed Shift live up to all the hype and praise it has received?
In Need For Speed Shift for iPhone EA Mobile has focussed the gameplay on precision driving. Your main goal is to build your driver profile, earn enough stars to unlock events, earn cash to unlock 20 stunning cars and customize them to your taste. The game offers 3 international locations to race in (Chicago, London & Tokyo) which are packed with 18 unique tracks and various race modes.
NFS Shift for iPhone offers 3 game modes which includes Quick Race, Career and Multiplayer. In Quick Mode you can choose the tiers, tracks and cars you unlocked in the career mode and get right into the race. You will spend most of your time in the career mode trying to build your driver profile, unlocking tracks and cars. In this game if you want to progress you will have to earn enough stars and you can do that by driving like a pro and winning the first position. One of the best aspects about NFS Shift is that if you do not do well in one event but have enough stars, you will be able to participate in the other events. The game also supports multilayer over bluetooth and local wi-fi. Gameloft has taken the lead in successfully offering multiplayer capability over internet in Asphalt 5 and we would like EA Mobile to offer the same.
Each tier in NFS Shift has different events to win, these include Circuit race, Sprint, Driver Duel, Eliminator, Time Trial and Drift. Winning an event enables you to win the prize money and podium places, profile points and special achievements determine the stars you will earn.
The most important aspect about NFS Shift gameplay is to improve your driver profile, to earn profile points you have to earn badges. As you race in different events the game tracks your driving and grades you accordingly. Your profile will evolve from precision to aggressive based on your driving style and earn you badges like ‘Clean Race Master’ if you avoid hitting other cars or ‘Racing Line Master’ if you stick to the racing line.
NFS Shift uses tilt control to steer and if you turn on the steer assist and auto brake on then it will be easy to follow the racing line and earn more precision points. As this games takes full advantage of real physics be prepared to slow down on sharp turns or you will end up going off the track while your opponents take lead. The Head-up Display (HUD) makes the transparent data on screen unobstructive and adding a professional feel to the overall racing experience. Racing games cannot be enjoyed to the fullest if it does not feature different camera angles and I was glad to note that you can choose your preferred viewing angle from 4 available options.
The best camera angle has to be the cockpit view where you can see the steering wheel and as you hit another car or crash it damages your windshield and causes a slight blur effect on the sides. If you have played NFSU on your iPhone/iPod touch then you would be familiar with the drifting gestures. To drift in NFS Shift you just need to twitch your device in the direction of bend. Overall the controls are very responsive however, I had to set the tilt sensitivity to maximum and found the nitro boost container button a little obstructive and would have preferred a forward tilt gesture instead. To pause the action simply swipe two fingers downward anywhere on the screen.
One of the most disappointing aspects about NFSU was the lack of customization options but, in NFS Shift EA Mobile has paid close attention to address this issue. You can customize almost every aspect about the gameplay. The game offers 4 control options (Rookie, Professional, Expert and Custom) which allow you choose manual/auto transmission, turn auto brake on/off, hide/show racing line and choose the steering assist. If you are a control freak and want to immerse yourself completely then you may choose the expert mode and turn off all the assists. The developers have even taken care of the smallest customization details which include tweaking sound, play your own music, change the units and included a tutorial track.
The menu interface in NFS Shift is quite similar to NFSU. To buy, upgrade or customize your car you need to tap ‘My Cars’ option and here you can tap on the screen to be able to take a 360° look at your car, pinch to zoom and rotate to view from all angles. The car designs are highly detailed and make the game very special as it features almost all the cars that I one would love to race in. (View the complete list of cars here.)
If you are looking for a racing game for the iPhone which can provide you the most realistic racing simulation then your search ends with Need For Speed Shift. The game gives you an unparalleled gaming experience with superior physics-based accelerated 3D graphics with OpenGL ES 2.0 integrations, which in my opinion has set a new standard in iPhone gaming and you will no longer miss the console version when you are on the move.
Price: $6.99 as of Jan 06, 2010 (iTunes Store Link)
Version reviewed 1.0.0
- Physics-based accelerated 3D graphics with OpenGL ES 2.0 integration
- Customization options with different camera angles
- Amazing range of cars offered
- High Quality Sound Effects and Rock music
The Not So Good
- Lacks multiplayer over internet
- Nitro boost button obstructive
Reviewed by: Ravin
Need For Speed Shift iPhone Video
Video by: Stuff.tv