Racing games are one of the most popular game genres on mobile devices and with the release of EA’s Need for Speed Most Wanted for iOS devices, there’s a big franchise making its claim for dominance. Need for Speed Most Wanted for iOS offers 35 of the world’s funnest cars to drive, ranging from a modest Ford, to a tough Hummer, to even a Porsche 911 Carrera S. The graphics of the game are optimized for the latest Apple devices, such as the iPhone 5, but still look sexy on a dated device, such as an iPad 2. The game has great tracks, a nice wide range of cars to race in, plus plenty of racing modes to enjoy. Although the price tag might be a little high ($6.99 at the time of this review), Need for Speed: Most Wanted for iOS is an extremely solid racing title.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted looks outstanding on the iPhone 5 and leverages the “tallboy” aspect ratio of the device. The cars are modeled impressively and look genuinely close to their real-life counterparts. The tracks are also well rendered, although many of them tend to conflate many of the same elements, making it hard to find clear distinctions from one track to another. Nevertheless, the graphics are undoubtedly a plus for the game and will sizzle on some of the newer iOS devices. That said, as also played on an iPad 2, the game looked great, so no matter the iOS device, chances are Need for Speed Most Wanted will look impressive.
The surprising part of Need for Speed Most Wanted is that the soundtrack is really good. You’ll recognize some of the songs, or at the very least, they should sound familiar while you zip by during races. The in-game sound effects all sound legit, between the revving of engines, the vrooming of cars, the collision between cars, and environmental barriers, plus the police chatter. While the sound may not be a critical piece of the game, it’s another plus for this title.
If there’s one quality of the gameplay that shines for Need for Speed Most Wanted, it’s that the game is highly addictive. Gamers will constantly be unlocking new cars, new tracks, and new types of races to conquer. Getting into a race is extremely easy and Need for Speed Most Wanted does a great job whetting your appetite to run just one more race to unlock just one more new “thing” that gamers will find themselves dying to unlock. The race mechanics are pretty simple, making the game a great buy for gamers of all ages. Tilt your iOS device and you turn left and right. Pressing a finger on the left side of the device activates the brake (or reverses), while pressing on the right side will engage a drift to make turns more efficient. Finally, there’s the nitro-boost that is engaged by swiping up that boosts a car forward. All of the gameplay mechanics for driving will be as familiar as those of any other racing game. The controls don’t feel wonky, they feel standard, intuitive, and familiar.
The game itself offers plenty of tracks and plenty of challenges for gamers to dive into. If there’s one downside to the game, it’s the lack of a distinct feel between each track, as they tend to bleed into each other and offer mostly the same elements. Once a race is completed, a new track is unlocked either at a location already visited or at a new location altogether. As races are won (or placed), points and dollars are awarded which convert into new cars or upgrades that can be purchased (and exhausted) just prior to a race. The game is perfect if a quick racing fix is what you need, or if an extended racing sessions is what a gamer is looking for. There’s also an online component in the form of logging into Origin to share leaderboards and “Most Wanted” levels with your friends.
Need for Speed Most Wanted is a really solid racing title for your iOS devices. Kudos to EA for allowing one purchase, say for an iPhone 5, to carry over to your tablet, such as an iPad 2. That dynamic makes the cost (at the time of our review) of $6.99 justified since the purchase is unified to all of your iOS devices. The graphics are very impressive on all devices but really shine on an iPhone 5. The controls are familiar and intuitive, which should lend the game to all audiences. The gameplay itself is addicting with plenty of cars to unlock and a nice variety of race types featured in the game. The only nit-picking to be done on the game is the tracks themselves which should have been more varied and offered more uniqueness. Overall, Need for Speed Most Wanted for iOS devices is a killer game that offers highly addictive gameplay and impressive graphics.