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Asphalt Overdrive Review

Rev up for some Eighties-inspired arcade action with Asphalt's car chase spin-off

This spin-off from the Asphalt racing series is more of a simplistic arcade game that’s clearly been designed for one-handed play – hence the use of portrait mode. The only control you have is swiping to switch highway lanes in order to avoid obstacles and side-swipe other vehicles for takedowns. The latter increase your nitro bar, activated by double-tapping, which proves handy for outrunning the cops in the main Getaway mode where you simply have to stay ahead long enough to complete each stage.

Other race modes add variety, including a fun Stunt Run where you can perform fancy rolls off ramps, and Destruction where you need to achieve a certain number of takedowns within a time limit. While steering is limited to lane switching, there are occasional forks in the track that are often worth taking to collect more nitros, plus cash and gold bars – the two currencies of the game. Up to three stars can be earned in each stage, according to your performance – get enough stars in each of five ‘Turf’ areas and you can take on the boss to unlock the next area.

Back at your base, you can visit the dealer to buy a new car and check out some classic vehicles including a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, Delorean DMC-12 and VW Camper Bus. Cash may also be spent upgrading your vehicle’s speed, acceleration and nitro tank. So there’s a decent strategic angle in spending your money wisely. There’s also a social aspect in creating or joining a gang to compete in gang events, as well as solo leagues.

So far so fun, but two annoyances soon come to light. The freemium model sadly includes having to wait many minutes to recharge the energy units needed to race, as well as for delivery of some upgrades. In addition, the requirement for an internet connection hampers the pick-up-and-play nature of an otherwise well-structured and joyable arcade game.