EA Need for Speed Underground on BlackBerry Playbook hands-on

RIM is clearly trying to make owners of the new BlackBerry PlayBook feel like they can have fun too, with the promise of EA’s Need for Speed Undercover and Tetris shipping pre-installed on the device from launch.

We nipped along to the RIM booth at Mobile World Congress to see what all the fuss was about and whether or not you should get excited about it all.

The first thing to note is that it’s the full game, this isn’t a two level demo or a timed experience. That’s important because it means you’ll actually be able to get into the whole experience and the pretty extensive career mode that will try and eat all the hours that checking your email doesn’t.

If you’re unaware of the Need for Speed franchise, then where have you been for the last umpteen years? Seriously though, the game involves you entering a number of street races, time trials, time attacks, and your other usual racing modes as you race your way around set courses as quickly as you can, and on-coming traffic heads towards you.

Thankfully for the BlackBerry makers it's an enjoyable experience with the QNX operating system and tech specs coping admirably with what the game is asking of it.

The 7-inch screen is a nice size in the hand, and you control your car either via the on screen controls, or more likely, by holding the PlayBook like a steering wheel and using the in-built accelerometer to steer your car.

Pressing the screen with your thumbs either lets you brake or gives you a nitro boost, depending on the effect needed at that moment in time.

While it would have been nice to have EA’s newer Need For Speed title - Hot Pursuit, the inclusion of the bundled game is nothing to be sniffed at and from what we’ve played we think a lot of people will be enjoying the franchise when the RIM tablet comes out in the “spring”.

First Look: BlackBerry PlayBook review