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Game Review – Need For Speed: Undercover

Screen shot 2009-11-12 at 14.19.34Developer: EA Mobile
Category: Games
Price: £2.99

Proving that when done right, we all have the need!

The most interesting aspect about games being developed for the iPhone is how radically different they can be. One moment you could be playing an app someone made in their bedroom and five minutes later experiencing an entry with a serious amount of polish the PlayStation Portable would be proud of. Of course, injecting a lot of money into a project doesn’t always ensure a perfect product. Need For Speed is evidence of just this.

EA sure knows how to apply that extra sheen to its creations. The visuals and overall presentation present in Undercover are incredible, boasting a level of quality above and beyond what’s expected. It’s easily the title to show off when those who defy the iPhone pipe up… just don’t let them play it.

Screen shot 2009-11-12 at 14.19.19Need For Speed is certainly not a bad game but it suffers from controls that are slightly too twitchy for their own good. Although the car accelerates automatically, it’s up to you to steer by tilting left and right. There’s certainly enough scope to get comfortable with it, but getting to that level can be a challenge; it’s a little too sensitive. This gets worse when Undercover asks you to drift. To turn the car sideways, it’s necessary to flick the iPhone, signalling you’re ready to glide. The problem is, you’re required to give it such an almighty thrust that it’s not uncommon to lose your in-game bearings and crash. However, as already mentioned, given enough time this becomes less of a frustration; those that get here will find themselves being sucked in thanks to Need For Speed’s style. Races are intense, cars over-the-top and it’s frantic from the off. You’ll have to watch out for the beyond awful cut-scenes and soundtrack, but we highly doubt anyone thinking about purchasing this is doing so for either of those reasons. Not the best racer on the iPhone (that award goes to Real Racing) but a damn fine alternative for those who want to get the most out of the genre.

Longevity: 6.5
Fun Factor: 7.6
Practicality: 5.7
Value For Money: 7.7
Kung Fu Verdict: 7.0