Speed Faster with Asphalt 8: Airborne [review]

asphalt 8
Written by Puching Zhang

Get the adrenaline rush of Need for Speed on your mobile device with Asphalt 8: Airborne. Puching Zhang reviews.

aNewDomain — Look at the sun shimmer off that Ferrari, it’s so beautiful. Oh, man, that car got totally shredded! And, yes, that’s a nitro boost!

Asphalt 8: Airborne for Android is seriously awesome. While I enjoyed Real Racing 3 for its purist racer appeal, Asphalt 8: Airborne is quite possibly the mobile version of “Need for Speed.” It has the makings of your favorite arcade game with a boost of nitro and some wreck bonuses to help each of the players. Let’s get started.

In a word, this game is sick. It combines awesome gameplay with stunning graphics and — to the best of my knowledge — it features extremely accurate detail of racetracks from around the world. Need an example? Check out the Iceland-to-Tokyo track.

asphalt 8World Tour

The detail included in every track made me feel as though the app was taking me on a world tour. As a big geography buff and lover of world tour racing games, I think the presence of such a huge variety of nations only adds to the gameplay. It also makes me hungry for more.

While Midway’s “Cruis’n World” was the highlight of my childhood gaming in ’96, Asphalt 8 completes my college gaming set. Not only do the tracks contain amazing detail, there are also a wide assortment of cars the player can choose from. I see the nod to Forza Motorsports with the levels that range from D to S, but I choose to believe it was creative inspiration, rather than a direct rip-off by the developers.

The cars in the game are real and up-to-date models — check out the Tesla Model S, which includes both gas and electric options. Each car has different characteristics, like acceleration and handling, so you can select the car that best suits your needs and playing style.

My favorite part of Asphalt 8: Airborne is this: you get benefits for wrecking people. I’ll admit, this is my childhood dream — my favorite racing accomplishment is destroying the competition. The fact that the app replays wreckage in epic slow motion makes it even better. For every knockout — when one player crashes into another — you get a bonus boost of nitro, which serves as a finite amount of turbo.

The inclusion of nitro in the game is a nice balance between the realism of the tracks and cars and the good old arcade style gameplay we all love. It may not be the purest form of racing, but it gives the underdog that edge to burst through the pack. Plus: luck makes any game more interesting.

asphalt 8Devil in the Details

There are several minute details about this game that put it over the top. For example, the player is able to customize his car in several epic paint schemes (I personally would’ve liked more options, but what can you do?). Plus, there are several racing modes to choose from, such as the very popular infected mode, where wrecking people not only gives you more nitro, but if you’re infected, it also infects them too (although, I don’t need any extra incentive to send someone to the scrap pile heap).

To top it all off, the various soundtracks that accompany each race are divine, with options of rock, bass and/or electronic. Cruising down the highway listening to your favorite beats is totally awesome.

Overall, as far as mobile games go, I’ll have to give this addicting epic game a 10 out of 10 (shocking!) for stunning graphics, a great mechanics system that adheres to the laws of physics (well, sort of) and nitro benefits for wrecking people. Need I say more?

You can find this game for Android on Google Play and Apple iOS. It’s well worth your money, mostly because it’s free.

For aNewDomain, I’m Puching Zhang.

Ed: The original version of this review ran on aNewDomain’s BreakingModern. Read it here

Featured image: Lego Ferrari F1 Racing Car by Nico Kaiser via Flickr

Screenshots: Puching Zhang