Asphalt Overdrive Review (IOS)
Asphalt Overdrive is a racing game with a ton of speed from the get go, and for a spell this title gets by on pure adrenaline. Whether it has legs after a few miles on the street is another story.
Asphalt Overdrive doesn't offer a ton of gaming nuance, but its meat and potatoes, arcade-style aesthetic instantly caught my attention. To race down a street, avoid cars, customize jumps, and smash into other vehicles, a simple swipe to the left and right of your device is all that's needed. Before the race begins, you'll press a blue button on the screen to give your car a quick boost, and it's a much needed advantage if you're escaping from police cars.
Once you master these simple controls, Asphalt Overdrive is a seamless and uncomplicated experience, and as you unlock stars and achieve various goals you can choose different types of gameplay. Whether it's outrunning the cops, smashing into a certain number of cars during a time trial, or performing trick jumps with your vehicle, there is enough variety in Asphalt Overdrive to keep your interests peaked.
Purchasing upgrades is necessary element in completing your challenges, and once you earn enough cash from your missions you can improve your engine and gears. Another upgrade is increasing your ability to quickly collect nitro tanks during your races, and these tanks, along with different other power ups such as temporary invincibility from crashes, can be utilized by spending a few of your gold bars.
Though both the upgrade system and missions offer nothing innovative, the seamless and addictive gameplay makes up for its lack of originality. Asphalt Overdrive's main concentration is to get us hooked on one's lifelong need for speed, and on that primal level it succeeds.
The title gets its visual and audio cues from the 1980s, when ‘Scarface’, ‘Miami Vice’, and pulsating electronic music that ruled the day. During your races, an unseen woman will comment on your driving, offering up such lines as, "Traffic's the worst," or "Make way for drivers." These elements add to the hyper-real feel of Asphalt Overdrive, and if first impressions lasted a lifetime, I'd never fall out of love with this entertaining racer.
Unfortunately, the free-to-play mechanic becomes a nuisance after you've progressed further into the game. It takes twenty minutes to regenerate an energy bar, and waiting a full hour to play three races that are finished within seconds isn't a fair bargain. Asphalt Overdrive can only be enjoyed as a simple pick up and play title, as enjoying this app for hours requires in-app purchases.
Asphalt Overdrive is also best played on your mobile device, as the swipe mechanic has its share of flaws on the iPad. My vehicle was able to dodge and dart its way through danger much easier on my iPhone, and unfortunately that's a luxury I didn't have while playing on the tablet. Several times I've swiped my iPad only to have my Ford Mustang do absolutely nothing. As much as I love checking out the graphics on a bigger screen, this is one of the few games I prefer playing on my mobile device.
Asphalt Overdrive may get your blood pumping for several minutes, but unless you want to pay for the privilege, the races are over within the blink of an eye. This may be great for a quick boost of gaming adrenaline, especially if you love plowing through the streets with abandon, but if you're looking for a longer drive up and down the coast, you've come to the wrong place.
This review was based on a downloaded copy of Asphalt Overdrive for iOS.