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Asphalt Seven: Heat on iOS

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Plop down that dollar and plop down on the couch to devour Gameloft’s newest iOS racing game, Asphalt Seven. This mind-boggling arcade-style racing game is sure to please any casual gamer.

Hold up!! Before you ring up your credit card you need to be sure that this treasure’s graphics can actually run on your device. You will need an iPhone 3GS or newer, an iPod Touch 3rd generation or newer or any iPad. Of course the newest 2012 line-up of devices will give you the most “bang for your buck”- things like gyroscopic steering, usage of Apple’s “Retina Display”, and overall graphical performance boosts are big bonuses if your gizmo has/can run them. This game does support the iPhone 5’s larger screen, by the way. Oh, and my gaming experiences are coming from playing on the newest iPad. Don’t expect the same thing on your iPod from the last decade.
Technicalities aside, when you open the app, some synthesized fusion of disco, pop and rock music pulses from the speaker while a huge orange intimidating car eats up the entire screen. Once loaded, you will stumble through a few confusing menus and selections; these will be greatly appreciated once you master the game. To simplify it all, there are seven game modes and a multiplayer version of each. They are as follows: normal race, elimination, king of the hill, paint job, time trial, beat ‘em all, and drift. I can’t go into detail about them all, but try them out and see for yourself. I can’t give everything away!

Oh, did I forget to mention, aside from the standard career mode, you can play any game style on any track in quick play, but for now I’m going to stick to career mode, as that is the bulk of the game. In your career, you will encounter three reward and scoring systems. The first is your standard cash, collected on the track itself as well as rewarded for your performance. You can use this to buy unlocked cars. The next reward is stars. These are given when you complete specific goals or tricks, and they are used to unlock, but not purchase, vehicles and their upgrades. The last scoring system is your experience bar, which is affected by most things you do in the game and is a simple way to show how pro you are.

Let’s get down to business. What exactly is the gameplay like? Here’s the answer; it is pretty casual yet amazingly beautiful in looks. An average game could go something like this: you get in your powerful yet pretty little Aston Martin One, and wait at the starting line. The towering buildings of Tokyo soar up around you with dazzling lights and foreign signs. A deep orange Japanese bridge looms ahead. Your eyes are glued to the mesmerizing colors and detail of the setting and, since the camera pans, you are just drooling due to the continuous augmented reality and unique attractions in your racetrack. Focus!! The race has begun and your opponents are speeding away with red and blue nitro bellowing out of their mufflers. Tap the screen to initiate your supply of nitro, or save up the entire bar of it to blaze through the track in the heart-throbbing adrenaline mode. You squeal around corners collecting cash and boosts but then you see train tracks over a roadblock to the right. Veer towards it and fly out over and onto an “illegal” part of the track, a shortcut. Every city has a few of these, ranging from subway tunnels to volcano pits to a joyride through sea world. Shortcuts can be short and meaningless or give you a huge advantage and be exhilarating. Try them out! So back to the game, you continue speeding past a bullet train and then swerve back out onto the road, ahead of the game. Try crashing into regular slow moving “commuter” cars on the track and wreck them off into the side of the road while earning money. You can pretty much thrash any obstacle that isn’t a building; lampposts, cones, bus stops, you name it. Now try veering into the opponent next to you, smashing him into the side of the road. Knockdown!!! He’s feeling tight now because he has to wait while his car flips off the road and then regenerates further back on the track. Of course all of this is done in top of the line graphics, comparable to stuff you see on console games. I won’t spoil the rest of the goodies, for you have to play the game yourself!

I do want to take a second to look at the only flaw of the game; car choice. While there are dozens of amazing cars to cruise in, the game automatically gives you only a couple to use for free, depending on how well you have been racing in multiple aspects. To use anything else you have to “rent” it for one game only at a reasonable price. But the bottom line is that you won’t go in on your first day with an array of cars to choose from, and the way to unlock new cars seems fairly convoluted.

Well now is a good time to go download Asphalt 7. Really, I mean what are you still doing here reading Teen Ink when a beastly game awaits you and your iPhone? Besides, it’s only 99 cents.



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