Racing action on the iPhone.
Fast And Furious: Adrenaline, from I-play on the iPhone, is a game that i was initially unsure of. As I have mentioned before, being a new iPhone user, using it as a gaming machine never really occurred to me. But this game, amongst a few others, are slowly changing my perception of this. The game itself involves the player taking part in many events such time trials, street races, drag racing or just trying to evade the police around the streets of LA.
The story mode of the game revolves around attempting to take control of the street racing gangs using a map screen that is sectioned off into numerous areas. Each area is controlled by a gang and the gangs are headed up by characters from the films. Although they do not actually appear in game, their names are used and the occasional still picture of them is present, which is a nice touch and sure to please fans of the movies. The separate gangs are represented on the map by four colours and it is the players job to take part in a race over each sector. Upon winning the event, the area is taken over by the player and you continue doing this in a bid to take control of the whole map.
Race events come in a variety of styles, including the regular four car races and the time trials, in which you are racing against the clock whilst also avoiding oncoming traffic. In one type of event, you are challenged to evade the police, which is similar to the four car races but your three opponents are police cars intent on stopping you by all means.Then there are the boss races, which are one on one races with the leaders of the other gangs on the map screen, and the last race event which is simple drag racing.
My one worry going into the game was how the iPhone would handle a racing game with itâ€™s touch screen and tilt motion. Acceleration in the game is automatic, with your car permanently on full throttle and there is no real control for brakes, relying instead on the player sliding into turns to lower the speed. As a racing game fan, I was initially sceptical of this. But surprisingly, it actually works quite well. The steering, on the other hand, depends on which input method you are using. I originally tried using the tilt motion, which has you moving the phone in a steering wheel like motion and, although this works, it takes a lot of getting used to. It is a nice touch and a good use of the tilt motion. I found that I much preferred using the touch screen steering wheel method, as it gave me a greater sense of control. Other than steering, the controls are limited to a NOS turbo boost and gear changes in the oh so fun, but limited to a handful, drag races. The controls, no matter which input mode you choose, take getting used to. But once you do so, the handling of the cars is not too bad. Sure, it is no simulator. But the arcade style handling is ideal for the game.
Visually, I was pretty impressed. Gaming on phones, up until this point for me, had been pretty basic. But now, trying out some more complex games on the iPhone, I am becoming more and more impressed and Fast And Furious is no exception. Both the scenery and the cars themselves are well represented. There are three locations to race around: the beachfront, the suburbs and the city. All three have a distinctly different look to them, as do the cars. Although there are only around seven or so car models to choose from, they are repeated with different paint schemes and statistics. The scenery is basically textured blocks, but when you are travelling through the stages at speed, it all looks pretty impressive .
Itâ€™s much the same when it comes to the sound. Music, check; engine sounds, check; screeching tires, check. This is all a racing game really needs and the game handles it adequately. The downside is that the sounds are pretty generic for every car you drive, but that’s not to terrible a thing, as what is there does a fine job.
A really nice touch is something that is popping up more and more in games lately. That is the ability for social networkers to upload data from their game to the likes of Twitter and, in Fast and Furious’ case, Facebook. The game lets you select what data is uploaded to your page, be it lap times, unlocked cars or game progression amongst others, so that you are not spamming your Facebook or Twitter account. This is a good way to let your other gamer friends know what you are playing and how well you are doing. On top of this, I believe I-play were also running contests on Facebook to coincide with the games release, so checking out their page might be a good idea – I-play Facebook
On the whole, I-Play’s Fast And Furious: Adrenaline is a pretty good game. The graphics are not without their flaws, with the scenery being a bit blocky at times, but are generally well done. Also, the opponent AI is a little on the easy side. I only had to repeat a handful of races a couple of times, the rest were generally first place finishes on the first attempt. But despite these small faults, the game is actually a good arcade racing game. It is also a perfect time filler, with races lasting around one to three minutes, making it perfectly suited for a phone game. Itâ€™s titles like these that are changing my perception of games played on smart phones.
Fast & Furious: Adrenaline is published by I-play and is available on the App Store, here, for just Â£1.79 at the time of writing.