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iPhone/iPad review of the day: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline

On iPhone
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
Price: $4.99 / £2.99
Size: 557 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store:US/UK

On iPad
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD
Price: $6.99 / £3.99
Size: 531 MB
Get it now on the iTunes store:US/UK

Infinity Bladeis great and all, but the real showcase for awesome iDevice graphics actually be racing games. Because not only can they look incredible, they do so while moving at breakneck speeds. This is what makes Asphalt 6: Adrenaline so impressive.

This isn’t a Gran Tursimo style simulation like competitor Real Racing 2. No, Asphalt 6 is pure arcade racing along the lines of the Burnout series. You get to sit behind the wheel of a few dozen real world cars, ranging from Mustangs to Aston Martins to Ferraris. There’s a great career mode that has you travelling the world, racing in locations like France, Japan, and South Africa. You’ll earn money, buy new cars, upgrade existing ones, and unlock plenty of content as you make your way through the mode. You can even walk around a virtual garage to admire your new car collection and pretend you’re Tony Stark.

The controls are pretty standard: the car accelerates automatically (unless you turn that feature off), so you’ll be in control of steering. This is handled by tilting your phone (again – unless you turn that off, in which case an onscreen steering wheel appears). And while the controls aren’t perfect -- the turning can be a little too sensitive at times for our tastes -- they don’t hamper the experience at all. Meanwhile, tapping on either side of the screen controls your braking and boosting. The boosting makes you go even faster, and if you get enough of it you can enter the titular Adrenaline mode, which turns the screen blue and enables you to move at extra super fast speed for a limited time. And in true Burnout style, you get bonus points for smashing other racers off of the road.

What’s great, though, is that Asphalt 6 isn’t just about straight up races. There are several different race types to play through, ranging from an elimination mode that continuously knocks off the last place racer until only one remains, to a mode where you’ll need to cause as many windshield shattering crashes as possible. These modes add some much appreciated variety to the game.

Asphalt 6 doesn’t really do a whole lot new. Very little, in fact. But it does a whole lot very, very well. There are lots rendered cars to drive and smash, and the arcade racing is fast and frantic. We couldn’t ask for much more.

Jan 27, 2011