Asphalt 6: Adrenaline from Gameloft is a high-end, graphically-intensive, and content-rich car racing game. Asphalt 6 allows you to race and modify cars such as the Audi RSS, BMW Z4, the Tesla Roadster Sport (a personal favorite), and the Abarth 500 SS. You can race the cars in exotic locations such as Nassau, Bahamas; Charmonix, France; Cape Town, South Africa; or Havana, Cuba.
You use the iPhone’s accelerometer to steer your ride. If you want to use your brakes, you simply tap the left side of your screen. To give your car a boost, you just tap the right side of your iPhone screen. As you progress, you can earn cash to unlock adiditonal cars and locations.
You can choose to play the game’s basic “Career” mode, where you compete in a series of racing challenges across the globe, or you can play a “Free Race,” where its up to you how and where you want to race. Both Career and Free Race modes let you compete in different racing challenges. In Normal races, you race six other cars in hopes of finishing first. In Elimination and Beat ‘em All races, you attempt to destroy your opponents’ cars by maneuvering them into accidents. In Collector races, you have to repeatedly run your car into obstacles in order to gain money. In Duel races, you race against a singular opponent. You can also race against others online.
I am truly impressed with what Gameloft has managed to pack into Adrenaline. Its racing challenges, like Collector races and Beat ‘em All races, are different enough from each other that the game never gets repetitive. I enjoyed being able to modify cars (you can change car colors, tune their engines, suspension, etc.), and I loved being rewarded for winning races by being able to buy new exotic cars.
Still, there is room to improve for the Asphalt series. The cars you start out with at the beginning of the game (a Mini Cooper, an Abarth 500 SS, and a Nissan Z) are not drastically different from one another and handle exactly the same way. It wasn’t until I completed enough races, and started buying more high-end cars, and buying add-ons for those cars, that I truly noticed a difference in how cars handled.
I played Adrenaline on a third-generation iPod Touch. Though the game’s intro video looks phenomenal, I found that the cars look a little pixelated during races. I also noticed the occasional appearance of ghost cars (cars that appear and then disappear) in races, but very rarely did I come across the phenomenon.
You can find most of Asphalt 6: Adrenaline’s content in plenty of other racing games. Still, you rarely see all of the content that Adrenaline offers in one game. You also rarely see all that content performing well together. Like a well-tuned machine, Asphalt 6 is definitely one of the better iPhone racing games out there.
[Sam Felsing is an editorial intern for Macworld.]