Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Age Rating: 4+
Need for Speed has been an iconic name in racing game circles for almost two decades and the latest addition to the franchise, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, marks the fifth game to grace the iOSphere. Built by Melbourne-based game developer FireMonkeys – who also developed the Real Racing trilogy – Most Wanted is a worthy contender to take out the iOS racing crown.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted takes you back to the police pursuit experience that made the NFS games excel, and with the choice of 35 super cars to choose from – all of which can be altered and modified to boost performance – it’s packed full of fun.
Like many games in the racing genre, walls and barriers have a detrimental affect on both the car’s condition and the driver’s postion in the race. This means that keeping your car intact by just missing passing cars and the ravenous police in Most Wanted makes each successful race, corner or nitrous oxide-induced straight a real thrill.
A neat feature is the choice of touch or tilt turning; particularly handy for those who flail away endlessly bouncing their car from one wall to the next. The touch controls are useful but not for everyone. A small steering wheel appears on the left-hand side of the screen directly below wherever you place your finger – be it at the top, middle or bottom of the screen. This I found to be a problem as my finger moves around the display when I play, while the steering wheel stays fixed, leaving my Porsche 911 Carrera S to veer towards the closest wall or passing car.
The tilting controls are easier to use and while you may look strange to your fellow public transport commuters, it makes for a more satisfying feeling to swerve round a corner with just the right amount of tilt.
Users can also adjust the controls’ sensitivity to better match the game to their preferences.
The graphics alone make this game a worthwhile buy for racing fans. The cars shine on glistening roads, streetlights and signs reflect off the road, and hitting the NOS brings flame bursting from your vehicle’s rear.
The game developers have utilised iOS device’s multi-touch capabilities to perfection; for example, in your garage you can move effortlessly around each vehicle to examine its looks, paint job and specifications.
Fittingly the game arrives on the App Store at the same time as its console counterparts, as the iOS version brings quality graphics seen in console gaming but rarely featured on iOS.
However, those who enjoy roaming the streets in a free-roam format and those wanting to compete in multiplayer mode are out of luck.
A little disappointing is the integration of in-app purchases; users forking out $7.49 for an app should not be bothered with additional payments.
Macworld Australia‘s buying advice
Need for Speed: Most Wanted will thrill racing fans despite its lack of free-roam and multiplayer features. The variety of vehicles and customisable options – to the game’s controls and to the cars themselves – provides a joyful experience that will suit almost everyone.