APP OF THE DAY: Asphalt 7: Heat review (iOS and Android)
The smartphone and tablet really do now rival the home console for graphical prowess. Just recently we had a play with Real Racing 3, which wowed us with its looks and game quality. It is currently only available in certain International iTunes stores and won't be hitting the UK until 28 February.
Fear not, however, because car fanatics have Asphalt 7 to enjoy in the meantime. While it might lack a lot of the refinement of Real Racing, if cars are your thing, this is going to keep you happy.
Asphalt 7: Heat
Asphalt 7 is not unlike Need For Speed in that it isn't about churning through Ford Fiestas to get to the good cars, Forza style. This is a game which puts you in your dream car and then tasks you with tearing down the road at top speed, getting up to no good along the way.
It is nice to see the big car manufacturers finally getting on board with the app game. As such Asphalt 7 features vehicles like the Pagani Huayra, Lamborghini Aventador and even the Ferrari FXX Evo.
The game is divided into three separate play modes: Career, Quick Play and Multiplayer. The career option is all about accumulating stars by winning races. Along the way you will collect cash, which you can spend on sponsors before a race. These sponsors will modify things during the race, granting you extra boost for example each time you overtake another racer.
You also earn rep, which moves you up levels and in turn unlocks more content. Completing goals the game randomly sets for you will also boost this.
The quick race option lets you put your favourite car to the test on any track against whatever you choose. You can also spin the options, one-arm-bandit style, to get randomised races.
Local Multiplayer can be done via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth or you can login to Gameloft Live and play against people there.
As for actual gameplay, Asphalt 7 uses the usual tilt to steer methods of most games. It works particularly well here and the simplicity of right thumb to boost, left to brake, is very easy to understand. All you need to is race around, collecting boost by doing drifts and hitting pick-ups and then you will take the win.
The faster the car, the harder it gets really, as drifting becomes tougher and timing much more important. You can also, when your boost is maxed out, go into a mode where the screen turns blue, your car hits top speed and the track is highlighted for you.
Asphalt 7 is a fun app and one which, while much more simple and straightforward than some of the more fleshed-out and expensive apps on the iPhone or Android, still impresses.