iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Asphalt 8: Airborne Review – Racing Takes New Leaps and Rolls Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:27:15 +0000 Read More]]> Asphalt 8 Airborne Review-4

Gameloft has seen huge success with its arcade style racing game, the Asphalt series. This game has always been popularly known for its nitro infused fast game play and crazy stunts. Asphalt 7: Heat offered great improvement in the widely popular series and now we have Asphalt 8: Airborne.

Asphalt 8: Airborne takes the popular arcade style racing and adds new twists and surprises that continue to excite the player even as the racing category in the App Store already offers some of the best games. However, with Asphalt 8, Gameloft seems to have a clear goal to be a top contender for the best racing title of 2013.

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The gameplay largely remains the same where you have career mode, multiplayer mode, social challenges, quick solo or local Wi-Fi mode. In the career mode you advance by winning events and gaining enough stars to unlock the next event. As you win events you also win in-game currency to upgrade your existing car or purchase new upgrades to enhance the performance of your car.

Gameloft has made the selection of cars for a particular event easy by categorising cars in D, C, B, A, S categories and assigning each car a “rank”. Sometimes it’s difficult to asses if the performance or speed of one car would make a significant difference in the race. This is where the new ranking system comes into play. In each race you will be shown recommended rank which can act as a guiding factor to decide which should be the next car you should purchase.

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If the car you own has a lower rank then you might just have to perform a “near perfect” race in order to stand a chance to win the career event. That brings us to the new difficulty level in Asphalt 8. Gameloft has tweaked the way the AI works in this new version. If the AI car is faster and higher rank it won’t be easy to defeat it. The top speeds of the high-end cars won’t let you overtake them even you continue to use nitro boosts. And if you’re unlucky and your car gets wrecked then you probably stand no chance to cover the loss of time. In the previous versions even if your car got wrecked a few times it was usually easy to cover up the distance. However, be prepared to be challenged to the extreme in Asphalt 8 for iPhone and iPad.

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The difficulty level is also tied to in-app purchases where you can purchase extra credits and car packs to make your virtual racing career easier. Credit packs allow you to be free to spend on any car you wish to purchase and car packs include a good mix of high end cars. Credits start as low as $1.99 and go up-to a max of $99.99. While it may be tempting to purchase more credits or cars it is not necessary to advance in the game.

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While playing career mode you may not earn that many credits to unlock expensive cars however, this is where multiplayer modes comes to your rescue. The multiplayer mode in Asphalt 8 puts you against 7 other players selected on the base of your level and car selected. This is by far the most enjoyable mode of the game as you race against real players across the world as opposed to AI. If you manage to stand anywhere between 1st or 3rd you will be able to earn decent amount of credits which will help you to unlock cars and purchase upgrades faster.

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So, overall I found the gameplay difficulty was well balanced. On one hand the career mode challenges you to extreme limits whereas the multiplayer mode balances the gameplay and gives you a chance to show your racing skills against real players. While for most players career and multiplayer mode will occupy the most time, it doesn’t stop there. In addition to these mode there is solo race, Wi-Fi and even a friend feed where you can race against your friends ghost and brag about defeating their best time. Also, another interesting feature added this year is the ability to race against your own ghost timing in any career event you’ve attempted before.

There are six types of racing events in Asphalt 8. These include classic, elimination, versus, knockdown, new infected mode and gate drift. Each racing event is unique and adds new twists to the gameplay. So, it always keeps the race interesting even as you advance in the career mode.

Spoiler alert:: If you don’t want to know about the all-new infected mode then skip this paragraph. In the infected mode at regular intervals the racer in last place gets “infected”. The “infected” racer has limited time before the car explodes and then spawns back into the game. In order to increase the time before your car explodes you can hit other cars and in turn “infecting” them. What makes this even more interesting is that each infected car gets unlimited nitro boost. In the end the racer finishing the race first wins the game. This mode adds new twist to the gameplay and is a welcome addition. It was both enjoyable and challenging at the same time.

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Gameloft has worked really hard on the 3D game environment and it shows. The game features some of the most scenic locations worldwide. You will be able to cruise from Nevada to Iceland to Tokyo to French Guiana to London to Barcelona to Alps to Venice to Monaco. This year the 3D locations have been enhanced with natural disasters and even events like a space shuttle taking off in French Guiana. Every time you race through these locations it never gets boring to notice these events happening even as you are busy tapping the nitro boost to race ahead.

The graphics are highly detailed and the physics engine performs very well. It includes an excellent selection of cars like Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Chevrolet Corvette, Mini Cooper, Aston Martin and many more. The selection of cars is great and has something for everyone. These cars have highly detailed graphics. When you view the cars in the garage you’ll be able to view even the shockers, exhaust pipes and the body of car reflecting the environment around it. When you are racing you can view the shockers in play as your car slightly bounces when you make a hard landing on the ground.

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This brings us to the “Airborne” moniker. In Asphalt 8 you’ll be literally “flying” for short bursts of “air time”. The roads also include ramps to assist you in leaping into the air. Some ramps have slight turn that enable you perform rolls. Here’s a tip, don’t be in a hurry to go onto to the ramp. If your speed isn’t fast enough you’re more likely to get wrecked.

I was particularly happy about the sounds in the game. The sound effects interact with the game as you crash into public property or even as the competing cars come in close proximity you can hear the engine of other cars firing up. This year you even get to choose between three music genres while playing the game.

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Camera angles certainly play a crucial role in making a racing game exciting and giving it the edge of the seat excitement. The settings menu in Asphalt 8 offers immersive, close and fixed angles. As your car races into the air the camera angle pans to show a dramatic cinematic view. However, the camera view also highlights a disappointment in Asphalt 8. There is no in-car view so you don’t get to sit in the drivers seat to experience the adrenaline rush of a real racing game. There are no side view or back view mirror assists so you just have to rely on the mini map to avoid overtakes. The game lacks in this area and this is something we’d like Gameloft to improve in Asphalt 9.

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The default tilt to steer control works well however, you may notice as you buy upgrades, handling and acceleration the performance will greatly enhance. But, for those who prefer complete control there are other control options included like manual acceleration, screen controls and more.

Asphalt 8: Airborne for iPhone and iPad retains the best arcade style racing game title on the App Store. New playing modes, realistic 3D graphics, amazing sound effects and months of playing value make this game a must have for all those who love racing games and even for those who haven’t tried one yet.

[rating: 4.5/5]

What we like:

What to know:

]]> 0 Asphalt 7: Heat Is to Arcade Racing what Real Racing is to Sim Racing Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:28:56 +0000 Read More]]>

On rare occasions I will tell you to go and grab a game immediately and then come back and read this review…….this is one of those occasions and to be honest what do you have to lose when all you’ll be spending is 99 cents on a universal app that will work on both your iPhone and iPad should you be lucky enough to have both.

You may be thinking, especially if you already have Asphalt 6, why should I even spend more money on the next version of Gamelofts arcade racer and the simple answer is this, it’s Bigger, Better, Faster and there’s more of it, so much in fact this review may only scratch the surface of all the features that are packed into this racing game.

If you have played any of Gamelofts games before then you will know what to expect when it comes to sound and graphics, and in Asphalt7 Heat they continue to lead the way a rainbow of electric lights that illuminate 15 different tracks from all around the world and with a pumping soundtrack the game is a dream to both see and hear.

There are four control options to choose from so you are bound to find one that suits your driving preferences, from using the accelerometer, on screen steering wheel or the screen itself the controls work very well, and you can also choose from auto or manual acceleration depending on your preference.

The quality of the controls are highlighted due to the fact that you can jump straight into Quick Play mode and start winning races immediately. Quick Race is just the beginning though, as the Career, Online and Multiplayer modes are where the real value comes in.

The Career Mode is spread over 13 cups each with 4 different races and these include normal races, elimination, knockdown, paint job and king of the hill which all offer slightly different variations on driving as fast as you can around the streets of the world.

As you work your way through the career mode you’ll have the ability to unlock and upgrade a great range of licensed cars, from a Mini Cooper S to the Shelby GT 500, from a BMW Z4 to the Lamborghini Countach and everything in between. There are 60 cars in total so there should be something for everyone.

The cars handle as well as you would expect for an arcade racer, the game relies heavily on drifting but this is relatively easy to control, early on at least, only when you start to unlock the bigger, faster cars does it get a little trickier, by the time you unlock them though you’ll be well practised, right?

Of course you don’t have to work through the game and earn your racing stripes to unlock all the flash cars, instead you can purchase your in game dollars by spending your hard earned dollars via in-app purchase but it’s well balanced, meaning that if you are willing to put the time in you can achieve your rewards without the need of spending above and beyond the original $1 outlay.

The online options are really where the game comes to life and it does this in two ways. First up is the online multi-player where you can race against your friends, and enemies, in any combination of race types and locations. The online mode works well, the games come thick and fast and there is relatively little slow down, it adds a whole new dimension to the gameplay that will keep you playing Asphalt 7 for a long time to come, or at least until Asphalt 8 comes out!

If you don’t want to want to race against people online in real time you can choose the weekly event that makes up the Asphalt Academy and see how far up the world rankings you can get.

With the game being a universal app it’s good to see that your progress can be transferred between devices. Asphalt Tracker allows you to transfer your progress between devices using either Facebook, or Gameloft’s own servers and while this isn’t quite as seamless as iCloud syncing would be it works and prevents you having to play the game twice across all of your devices.

Asphalt Tracker also enables you to send offline challenges to your friends via Gameloft which just adds more depth to an already deep game and that’s before mentioning the goals are Gameloft’s equivalent of GameCenter Achievements.

After all this eulogizing you’d think that perhaps I didn’t have anything bad to say about the game, that’s not the case. Asphalt 7’s all about social gaming and this takes the form of Facebook integration, the problem with this is though that between races and for every earned goal you are prompted to confirm whether or not you want to publicize the achievement and if you don’t want to bombard your Facebook newsfeed with your progress it can get a little frustrating.

If you’ve got this far and have not been simultaneously downloading Asphalt 7 on your iOS device you have permission to do so now!

[rating: 5/5]

What we like

What to know

]]> 2 Madden NFL 11 for iPhone. The Lombardi Trophy of Football Games Sat, 14 Aug 2010 19:37:28 +0000 Read More]]> MADDEN NFL 11 iPhone

Madden NFL 11 [rating: 4.5/5]

It used to be the case that you knew that the start of the new NFL season was just around the corner based on the fact that the pre-season games of your favorite team had started. However more often than not the start of the new NFL season is introduced with the new release of Madden X.

When I say Madden X I’m not coming over all Roman on you suggesting that the latest Madden game is Madden 10, on no, that was last year, for the 2010/2011 season the quint essential football game has reached Madden 11.

After last years introduction to the iPhone Madden 11 goes beyond the hand-held device and makes its way onto it’s bigger brother, the iPad, and along with it come new features, updated graphics and more options.

When first launching Madden 11 you will immediately notice the improvement in the games graphics and navigation menus which look much sharper and crisper than last years release and while the game looks great on the iPad it’s nothing compared to how it looks on the Retina display of the iPhone 4 where the graphics pop off the screen. That’s not to say that the graphics don’t look great on the iPad, they do and with the extra real estate that the iPad offers you get to see so much more of it!

After selecting your favorite team that will also skin the game with their colors and images you are ready to start the game.

Initially you may be disappointed to see that there are no new additional game modes,you’ll soon forget that once you start playing the game, but EA do tease us with the prospect of two additional game modes in a future update or updates. The potentially game changing Multiplayer mode and the intriguingly titled Vintage Voltage, however,back to the current game.

For those of you that have played the previous version of Madden on the iPhone you will quickly pick up the controls on both offense and defense and even those who haven’t won’t find it two difficult thanks to the intuitive nature and the all so important Action Control button the slows the gameplay down on both offense and defense allowing you the time to make the game changing decisions that can be the difference between winning and loosing.

Control of the defense has been maximized to allow you the detail of control in the defense as you have been used to in previous versions on offense. While it’s a great addition to the game and will appeal to many for me the game is still all about the offense and luckily for me there have been improvements there too.

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Taking to the field with Madden 11 on the iPad presents you with a plethora of options and the view of the field that looks great surrounded by the authentic stadia from all the NFL Teams. From the line of scrimmage you have your standard options including snapping the ball, calling audibles, choosing plays from the play book and now even directly drawing your own routes by simply dragging your finger from your receivers to where you want them to run.

Drawing your own routes is simple and you can save your favorites to call as audibles at any time in the future and there is nothing more satisfying than scoring a touch down on one of your own designed routes.

Most of the player moves are controlled via virtual buttons on the right side of the screen while control of their movement is via the virtual d-pad on the left of the screen. The controls placement is good to for the iPad with them being placed a little way up from the bottom of the screen making them sit naturally beneath your fingers. However there were times that the buttons did not respond to my touch resulting in missed passes and sacks which was a little frustrating.

In addition to the button controls you can pass to your receivers by touching their icons on the screen. These icons also change color depending on how open the receiver is meaning that if chosen correctly you can make some great passes.

The running game suffers form the button responsiveness more than the passing game though and while there is great satisfaction from bursting through a tight defense into the secondary I often found that dukes and spins required to make up the extra yardage often failed to materialize.

The players all look great as you play the game, even when all the players are on the screen at the same time their is no slow down although some of the collisions aren’t always 100% accurate.

The two negatives of the sometimes unresponsive controls and the player collisions are still relatively small in the big scheme of things and it certainly didn’t make me want to stop playing the game, if they can be addressed in a future update though the game will gain back the half a mark I’ve taken off for them at present.

While I was disappointed to not see the multi-player option available at the launch of the game the fact that it’s not only been mentioned by EA but also listed in the game itself gives me great hope that it will be seen sooner rather than later. And when it is introduced Madden 11 will be played even more especially while watching the game with your mates attempting to reenact the on field heroics.

They’re aren’t too many differences between the iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch versions of Madden 11 although if I was pushed I would go for the iPad version as although at $12.99 it’s $5 more than it’s smaller counterpart it makes playing the game just that little but more pleasurable.



Price: $7.99 (App Store) $12.99 (App Store)
Category: Games
Released: Aug 10, 2010
Reviewed Version:1.0.0
Size: 326 MB
Seller: Electronic Arts
© 2010 Electronic Arts Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Requirements:Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.

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