Booting up a game titled Fast & Furious Adrenaline, you might think you’re in for a psychotically fast experience, like the pod race in Star Wars Episode One. The races in this game don’t quite live up to the ones on Tatooine, but when you’re driving some of the speedier cars and you give yourself a nitrous oxide boost to pull ahead of the driver in front of you, your pounding heart won’t know the difference.
The iPhone has proven itself to be the dream platform for anyone with a yen for racing, and it’s no surprise: the accelerometer-based tilt controls make steering feel completely natural on the device. Fast & Furious Adrenaline is yet another strong entry into the field, after notable racers like Real Racing and Need for Speed Shift. While it’s not quite as solid as those games, it won’t let you down if you’re a fan of the genre.
Race all over the place.
The basic idea of the game is that you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the L.A. racing scene, so you have to go up against the other crews to take over their territory. Why racing crews have established territory is a question for another day.
To earn that real estate, you compete in various kinds of races. Road Races are standard matches against other drivers, and they work as well here as they do in any other game. Time Trial races pit you against the clock, with checkpoints that give you more time scattered throughout the track. Drag races are the easiest of the bunch: in these all you have to do is tap the gearshift immediately before the needle on the tachometer goes into the red. Finally, there are the cop chases, which feel similar to being on the run in Grand Theft Auto. In this mode, cops hurl themselves at you mercilessly, and you win by finishing the race without coming to a stop.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
There are plenty of cars to unlock as you progress through the game, and each one feels different enough. The number of maps leaves something to be desired, as you’ll be replaying each one many times throughout the game. This does have the effect of forcing you to get better at the game as you play, because you’ll start to learn how to handle the turns and when to use your nitrous boosts, but we’d like to see more content than what’s here.
The graphics are a little rough around the edges, and we had issues with the default steering sensitivity. But you can adjust the sensitivity, and you won’t be looking at the graphics as you tear through the levels. Local multiplayer over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is available, but we would have liked to see online multiplayer. The only thing you can do online is post your high scores on Facebook.
The strength of Fast & Furious Adrenaline is in its variety of race types. Even though you’re driving through the same maps over and over again, you’ll be doing a wide variety of things on them. And while it could probably have used one more coat of polish in its graphics and controls, if it’s high-speed racing you want, this game drives it home.