The Need For Speed franchise is back and this time it's NFS Most Wanted on the iPad and iPhone. So buckle up, hit the gas and hold on tight: you’re in for the ride of your life. Or so claims the marketing blurb on the iTunes app page. Can it be that good? We take it for a spin.
Need For Speed Most Wanted
The concept of Need For Speed Most Wanted is simple. You've get to race your way through a number of tracks in an imaginary place called Freehaven, earning points and cash for doing well so you can buy one of 35 cars to fill your garage.
Do that and you get goodies, the ability to race a number of different cars from a rather mundane BMW M3 Coupe, to the Land Rover Evoke, to the McLaren MP4-12C.
Of course you don't get the McLaren until you've been playing for some time and raised enough cash to splurge you money on such an exotic car. And, just like every good racing game, every time you think you are getting even remotely close you'll have to divert your cash elsewhere.
Races themselves vary, with some requiring you to merely cross the finish line in the top three and others insisting on your competing a course in a set time. It's the latter that are harder, as every dink along the way adds a time delay - just like in show jumping - and failure to deliver the goods results in your having to start over.
If all that sounds easy, don't for a second believe it is. And if you've ever played the Need For Speed games, you'll soon know that there is one factor we haven't mentioned - the fuzz.
Yep, just at the moment you think you are doing well, out comes a troop of coppers to try to ram you off the road and into the railings, forcing you to miss out on that crucial third-place podium finish.
Still, knocking them off the road does result in a full tank of nitrous which only helps propel you further.
With no real goal other than collecting cars - upgrades are the same and only stick for the race at hand - the game does lack any sense of personality, but is still good fun. The graphics are luscious, showing us just how good mobile gaming as come along and playing it on the iPhone 5, the iPad mini and the iPad 4 has been very pleasurable - and at times it is easy to forget you're not playing on a games console.
That's mainly down to the easy control mechanism. You can have tilt or d-pad options. Swiping up the screen gives you nitrous boost and pressing down with your right thumb engages a drift to help you get around the corners better. Easy.
We admit it, we are hooked.