Developer: Gameloft–Price: $0.99–OS: iPhone, coming soon to Android–It’s been a while since we’ve posted, just like it’s been a while since Asphalt 6 was released last year. We’re coming back in style with new reviews, and they’re flooring it with the release of Asphalt 7: Heat, the newest iteration to the Asphalt series. Equipped with 60 cars from worldly carmakers such as Ferrari and Aston Martin, this game doesn’t drop the ball when it comes to vehicles. It brings back some of the Lamborghinis and Paganis from previous versions, but brings in some exciting new models such as the DeLorean and the Cadillac CTS coupe. As an American car enthusiast, I was impressed with the new Fords, Chevys, and Dodges offered in Asphalt 7. These cars are selected before every race begins, but the player is only offered a limited number of cars for each race; Gameloft calls this “tiered” car groups, but I call it useless and annoying. This was one of the buzz kills in this game: there are 7 tiers of cars, which means there are about 8 cars per tier, which reduces the number of cars one could pick by a great deal.
Gameplay was very engaging in this game: the graphics are truly sublime. The cars reflect exterior conditions, and 3D jumps are well-represented. I still would like to see rain in this game: weather conditions in racing games add a whole new dimension to the game (the best example being Burnout Paradise, where the game matches your local weather). While some of the courses are straight out of Asphalt 6 with little or no change, some courses are entirely new. My favorite course was Paris, which I found challenging but extremely realistic.
There is a multiplayer mode that allows you to play against other opponents over wi-fi, or locally over Bluetooth. The Asphalt Tracker also keeps track of where you’re at compared to your friends (in your achievements, that is). Asphalt 7 also brings in some new “social features”. Some users may find these fun, but I found these annoying: after any achievement (no matter how small) you are prompted on whether or not you would like to share your achievement on Facebook. Clicking “no thanks” multiple times after any given race is super annoying. It would be much better if they simply grouped all of your achievements after each race together, asked you whether or not you want to share the achievement, and let you decide which ones to share from there. The career mode in Asphalt 7: Heat is by no means lacking, though, giving this game a superb overall replay value.
Overall, Asphalt 7: Heat is pretty sweet. For a buck, you can get a game that can keep you entertained for a very long time, and if you haven’t tried a racing game yet, this game is the perfect place to jump in. There are some downers with this game, such as the repetitive social “features”, the tiered car system, and the painful 1GB download, but the thrill of the game, thanks to its solid graphics and strong replay value, makes up for these minor shortcomings. This game gets a 9 out of 10 from me.