asphalt8iconGameloft's Asphalt series has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings as a portable title on the Nintendo DS and early mobile devices. Indeed, since the iOS release of Asphalt 4 (the first of the series to grace Apple's platform) each iteration has done a good job steadily improving what the series has to offer in order to stay competitive with other iOS powerhouse racing titles.

This progression seems to have hit its pinnacle with Asphalt 8: Airborne [Free], the fourth iOS release in the series. With beautiful visuals, plenty of content, and a fast and furious take on iOS racing, Asphalt 8 is a excellent racer on all fronts and needs to be checked out.

If you've played Asphalt 7 or any game in the Burnout series, you'll feel at home when you fire up Asphalt 8. The game's focus on arcade-style objective-based races works as contrast compared to more simulation-oriented titles such as Real Racing 3. Players earn awards based on a variety of objectives in-game such as narrowly missing cars, performing stunts mid-air or causing the opposition to wreck. While each of these eventually earn small amounts of currency at the conclusion of the race, most importantly they earn nitro in-game.

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The collection and strategic use of nitro is the key to success in Asphalt 8. It's also the gameplay element that turns the whole game from simply fun to an awesome experience. Activating nitro instantly adds an intense layer of speed to your car, making the road and backdrop scream by with some cool effects. Nitro also allows you to temporarily take out the opposition (which earns you even more nitro) giving you an edge in racing.

Now, arcade racers with objectives and nitro aren't really particularly novel ideas in the genre, but where Asphalt 8 shines is in its implementation. A decent set of control options ensures all players can stay competitive. Meanwhile, the graphics engine does a great job of imparting that sense of speed that is essential for a game that thrives on fast gameplay. A robust career mode, online multiplayer (complete with rankings) and a killer soundtrack round out the areas the game does well.

One of the areas I absolutely love in Asphalt 8 is its overall presentation. The menu system is clean but cool, and it's very easy to just jump into races. I'm also really digging the large variety of vehicles available to check out (extra points for the inclusion of the Tesla Model S and the Mini Roadster - two of my favorites). Variety isn't the only thing Asphalt 8 has going for it, car models look great both in-game and otherwise. I found myself just perusing the vehicle list and checking out the cars from all angles.

Of course, all these cars don't come cheap, and this is the only area where Asphalt 8 somewhat falters. The difficulty curve is pretty level through the first few series of cars and seasons, but as you get towards the really expensive cars, you'll notice that you don't earn quite as much money proportionally to afford what you might want.

This is especially true since most seasons have special races that can only be competed with certain cars, which may force players' hands in spending some of that hard-earned currency just to buy a car they may not want, but need to earn stars. This may lead some gamers to the game's currency buys or car pack IAP, especially for completionists that want everything.

Still, it's important to note that no car or feature is exclusively locked away and, even with the above concerns, I never felt discouraged at the grind. It's also a relatively minor complaint with a game that offers such a great experience actually playing the game. When you combine that with the impressive graphical sheen and the large amount of available content, I can't really think of a reason why you shouldn't check out Asphalt 8. The iOS platform has quietly become a haven for great racers, and Asphalt 8 looks to be leading the pack right now.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • pixelpowa

    Already downloading. Can't wait to take this for a spin. :D

    • loophole

      Yeah from what I've played this is no disappointment! Super awesome! Just played an online match and the gameplay is rlly exciting

    • toxiccheese

      Love this game, but noticed that when I hit the boost, nothing really happens if you are in the lead. Take the lead, hit the boost and then watch the map... Everyone keeps up with you no matter how much boost you use. It's rubber band racing at its finest.

  • wolfie9090

    Just got it!

    • wolfie9090

      First

      • wolfie9090

        Second

      • wolfie9090

        Third

      • wolfie9090

        Fourth

      • wolfie9090

        Fifth

      • wolfie9090

        Sixth

      • wolfie9090

        Seventh

      • wolfie9090

        Eight

      • wolfie9090

        Ninth

      • wolfie9090

        Tenth

      • ODMay

        Eleventh!

      • Bryno

        11th

      • ODMay

        U can't cut. >:(

  • Topbeast

    I think this is a 4 stars game because of the IAPs.

    • JJE McManus

      I'm still gonna pass on picking it up right away. The review was what I expected. The game looks very sweet. I'll wait a few more day and see what the forums think of the IAP wall.

      • Topbeast

        I don't recommend this game.

        The main reason:
        A LOT of IAP's, It is just frustrating.

      • Morgan01

        This really looks like a freemium title. I bet the $0.99 goes free in the next month or 2. Damn shame with all this freemium krap.

      • dancj

        Asphalt 7 did it in under 2 weeks.

  • khann

    Not sure I can get into any racing game after Forza Horizon. That game just ruined every other game.

    • Pray For Death

      If anything, Horizon should make you better appreciate other games, because it only ran at 30 fps as opposed to 60 in the rest of the Forza series.

  • C. Stubb

    How dare you even mention RR3 around a true, premium racing game this! Oh wait, Gameloft title, soooo... Up-front charge AND IAPs!? AAAGGH! I'll be in the multiplayer lobby for (the original) Real Racing if anyone needs me. :)

    • http://entrepreneurialblog.com Niclas Johansson

      Go ahead and complain about the Infinity Blade and Kingdom Rush games too while you're at it.

      • C. Stubb

        Good point, although Infinity Blade -was- very generous with their in-game currency rewards. (Bags of gold literally just -sitting- around the castle!)

  • iOSPeace

    Why is apple making me answer my security questions? I don't even remember my answers, anyone else getting this?

    • loophole

      Nah that's weird. Is it like an account verification?

    • themostunclean

      Someone else mentioned that, unless it was you somewhere else. Apple does do periodic payment and account verifications though, very rare in my experience.

      • iOSPeace

        It's funny I paid for it on my iPhone and I didn't have to do account verification questions but when I wanted to pay for it on my iPad i had to.

      • ihd1234567890

        There is an option thats can find on the apple site where u can turn off automatic purchases so ull have to put ur credit card and stuff every time. My parents wanted me to do it.

  • toxiccheese

    I don't understand... I know a 5 star review does not mean a game is perfect, it merely means that the game is the pinnacle of greatness for what it is... But, the grind for expensive vehicles with an obvious slant towards encouraging IAP is enough to warrant a less than 5 star review. TA reviews are really starting to discourage me.

    • Rivalsan

      I just finished playing it for about a half an hour. It is awesome!

      • shadax

        TA would say that.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Fair point, but this game is so stupidly fun I can't imagine it being anything less. It's like a really good action movie. Sure it has some slow parts and the acting is bad, but the experience is a blast and you want to tell everyone they need to see it too.

      For a dollar this game gave me more intense moments and excitement in the first 30 minutes than 99% of the games I try on a weekly basis.

    • Boobi

      The game is really well done, and its a blast to race. Its not grinding it pure enjoyment to race. Grab one car pack and be done, its that good.

    • Bob

      GT5 for the PS3 cost me $50 and I'm still grinding for expensive vehicles...

      • Leo281993

        Grinding in gt5? Please. You get a money boost for logging in every day. And the max goes to 200%. And challenges reward you handsomely. In fact you can easily make 2 million credits in a day if you play the right events. So no, I don't agree with you on grinding in gt5. I found the payouts very generous. And I managed to buy all the cars I wanted.

  • Jake7905

    It's a premium game for a buck, so yes, there are IAP's. Enough with the fake outrage, we all knew this was coming. It's still the best racing series on IOS, and give Gameloft credit, they could have easily taken the same route as Real Racing 3.

    • McCREE

      Sounds to me like they did, they just charged a buck on top of it.

      • Jake7905

        When they add timers, then you can complain.

      • McCREE

        Fair enough.

      • bilboad

        The IAP in this game is not annoying at all compared to RR3. In RR3 I always feel like the pay model is keeping me from playing the game the way I want, but I never feel like that with this game.

        When I play a racing game I really like to thoroughly learn each track with a particular car before moving on to the next track. To do this, I'll keep repeating an event with the same car until I can consistently win. If I try to do this with RR3, every second or third race I have to "service" the car, which triggers a timer which requires me to either wait a couple of hours or spend coins, which can cost real money. I know I can work around this by rotating between different cars, but it's just that, a work around. I want to stick with the same car so that I learn its quirks, and know that when I finally win it's because of me and not because I switched cars.

        With Asphalt 8, I never feel like I'm having to work around anything. In fact my preferred way of playing the game actually works perfectly with the pay model. Since I like to repeat tracks until I've learned them well, I always have more currency than I need anyway. I'm getting so much enjoyment out of the game that even if later in the game it does start to feel a little grindy, I will actually feel good about throwing some more money to the developers since $1 actually seems much too cheap for how much fun this game offers.

      • wedge598

        I agree, the IAP coins do cost a bit too much as you could spend up to $20 or more trying to buy an expensive car early on. But I've found that just making some wise purchases as I play through the seasons I'm keeping plenty busy without having to grind ... Yet.

        What is much nicer that RR3 is that you can drive the cars you have as much as you want. There are no timers or repair waits of any kind. You simply race as long as you want in any car you own. Unfortunately the awards for replays are quite a bit lower than your first win so I could see this becoming a bit of a grind. Fortunately you'll have you $1 worth well before you have to start grinding for cars.

  • inFamous2-VIC

    Swerve swerve. Lol

  • yaboyrasp

    My first time playing an asphalt game and I must say I'm impressed.

  • tsulli2005

    Is it worth it?

  • worldcitizen1919

    Real Racing 3 deleted Asphalt 8 installed. Actually RR3 I deleted months ago.

  • fleshman

    TouchArepaid is the new name, thats official.

  • Taclys

    I see a lot of user outrage recently on the comments of reviews, saying how the rating system is so flawed and horrible and untrustworthy. Aside from the fact that every review is subjective from reviewer to reviewer, why is there so much complaining? Read the review. Decide for yourself. Ignore the star rating if it irks you THAT much, and come to your own conclusion.

    Great community you guys are making. Non stop complaining and whining.

    I personally am looking forward to buying this game. Don't have the cash yet but I fully intend to.

    • yaboyrasp

      Read all the past reviews and every single one has somebody complaining about the score. You kinda get used to it after a while.

    • Karzay

      Complaining about complaining is ironic. The purpose of forums and comment sections is to communicate and express your thoughts, good or bad.

      • piwakawaka

        Irony relates to coincidence, so that is not irony.

      • Karzay

        What I meant by ironic is the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, but it actually means the same thing. Ironic Definition: poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.

        Thus, complaining about complaining is ironic.

      • Karzay

        Btw, complaining about complaining is also a coincidence, no? Taclys just so happened to be doing the same thing he/she is complaining about. Ironic.

  • kweed

    Has anyone tried it on iPhone 4 yet? Playable or not?

    • qlpc

      It is playable, but you'll need to restart your device after installing it for better framerates.

  • dancj

    After the gulf of difference in quality between Asphalt 7 and Need for Speed Underground I find it hard to imagine that the Asphalt series could ever catch up. Has it really improved that much?

    • dancj

      Oops - I meant Need for Speed Most Wanted.

      • marc0313

        I think this is better, slightly, than NFSMW

  • TheGrimCreeper

    Just when I thought I was hype about this game, I'm very disappointed. Let me tell you why.

    1). Cars are heavy/slower than opponent cars.

    2). Very hard to accumulate money. You only get money based on what you do in the race. So on average, you only get $1,000 per race.

    3). Car prices shift too much. Not disappointed about that, though.

    4). Cars have little to no control at all. Opponents are always faster than your car.. Which is annoying.

    5). IAP is a problem. Not a big one, though.

    6). Seems like a blatant ripoff of Burnout Paradise. Just another game to me.

    So yeah.. I'm very disappointed with the title. I like the game, but it sounds like it stepped down from Asphalt 7 rather than stepped up.

    • marc0313

      Well, I loved Paradise, so, yeah, thanks.

      • dancj

        Yeah - that just increased my interest in the game.

    • ptdshiznit818

      Stepped down from asphalt 7? Lol, no it didn't. Not at all. It's actually 999999x better than 7.

  • Topbeast

    I don't know how this game got "5 STARS". It's just st*pid, i mean graphics are gorgeous but this is just another freemium piece of trash.

    • Taclys

      Why would you censor the word stupid. That in itself is stupid.

  • Adan Santos

    Shame it has SHIT non-retina graphics on iPad 3!!!!

    How the hell did that happen???

    • dancj

      It happened with Asphalt 7 as well.

      I would just accept it as inevitable, but then I look at the beauty of Need for Speed Most Wanted which looks great and has no frame rate issues.

      • Adan Santos

        It's just that all the screenshots they have used to promote the game I've seen look amazing, and then you open the game and... so disappointed!

        Does it use retina graphics on iPhone 5 or iPad 4?

        And rather than accept it as inevitable, I am just gonna delete it and be done with it. I'll stick to Real Racing 3 :-)

      • dancj

        I found the frame rate on RR3 way too low. I'll stick with NFS:MW for now when I fancy some racing.

      • Reignmaker

        This. So much this.

  • Protoman

    I suggest, in order to encourage less debate on the star issue, changing to bananas. I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.

    Stars have always been associated with real journalistic endeavors. From movies to sports to what have you. Real journalists have been using stars the majority of the time for reviews. Therefore in the general publics mind there is this automatic connection with consistency based on standards as are usually set within an actual news organization with stars.

    As this is an opinion blog, there really is no set in stone standard for the ratings. It's been stated numerous times in the past that its solely based on the reviewers feelings at the time of review. Maybe hearts instead of bananas.

    I digress. My point is presentation is what media is all about. Why continue dressing the rating in something that's going to cause conflict by its very societal nature when you could change from stars to some other Lucky Charm, or gazelles. This game could have been a 5 gazelle game. I guarantee there would have been less discourse on the rating system.

    • dancj

      But all of those film reviewers and the like are just expressing opinions with their star ratings too. That's why the ratings can vary so much for one film.

      • Protoman

        I'd respond to you but my post has been erased twice now. Sorry chumly.

      • Protoman

        Now I know how Karzay feels. lol

      • Karzay

        :)

      • dancj

        No problem. I've got the same problem on a different board right now.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Nothing from you is deleted or stuck in the spam queue, so I dunno what's happening on your end.

      • Protoman

        Oh no...the posts were up there. They just went "missing" after a few minutes. Two in a row in fact. Both were posted, then both vanished. Perhaps the interwebs on both my iDevices is having trouble bringing those two particular posts up. Spppooooooookkkyyyyyyy!!! It's a ghost!

      • Protoman

        No for real. Get Egon on the phone the two posts won't even appear on my Eee PC. Steve Jobs is hounding my TA posting abilities. lol

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Someone suggested on twitter one time that we rate games using geometric shapes, rhombus, triangle, hexagon, etc. I am totally all for that.

  • daniel schroeder

    As someone who played a lot of Burnout, I didn't really get that vibe from the trailer for this game. I was feeling a stronger link to San Francisco Rush -- though, to be fair, I haven't played that game too much. This one looks good, but I've never enjoyed an Asphalt game at all. I'll definitely keep my eye on this, but I should probably at least play a bit more NFS Most Wanted before I dive into another arcade racer.

  • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

    Is the game tilt controller or buttons on the screen?

    • MicroByte

      Tilt by default but there are a couple of different options that allow for touch only without tilt.

  • MicroByte

    Picked this game up for my iPad Mini and Nvidia Shield. It's a lot of fun and it does take me back to games like San Francisco Rush. The game looks phenomenal on both devices and handles great with the Shield controller.

    I think this is a great game that can sit besides Real Racing 2 and Need for Speed Most Wanted. All offer different experiences and are great in their own respect.

  • chamillion205

    How much space does it consume after installation?

    • Kamran Mackey

      Almost a gig.

      • marc0313

        Sir.

    • marc0313

      Just over a gig.

    • Succubus

      1.55GB

  • marc0313

    Lets get one thing clear: sadly, Graphically, this game has nothing on RR3.

    • Succubus

      Hmmmm.....What is RR3?

  • stickyicky97

    I hope they have added controller support since the new ios 7 now has a standard API for developers to allow 3rd party controllers.

    • Succubus

      Its called Nvidia shield it runs great with xbox style controls

  • Grantmusic

    What cars are available? Specifically VW bus 1967 or older? If so I'm sold!

  • fransoccer

    It's like burnout on my phone but only problem is iap but mi gusta

  • TheGrimCreeper

    When Burnout Paradise & Split Second get busy, they produce Asphalt 8.

  • eventide

    Gameloft doe.

  • Cpt.Badger

    It's funny how the review doesn't mention the rather poor framerate. The game feels sluggish and stutters on my 4S. Good framerate is ESSENTIAL for any racing game.

    • Succubus

      Buy a Nvidia Shield then!!

    • Reignmaker

      Same issues on an iPad 4. Sucks cause it looks like a good game. But the framerate utterly kills the experience.

  • Succubus

    This game is fuckin Awesome,hell yeah thank the lord for Nvidia Shield!!!!

  • tranceforma

    Awesome game. I assumed all the season unlocks were when you wanted to pay but alas, they do unlock as you progress at no extra charge.

    Very happy with it. Looks gorgeous too.

  • Josh Hicks

    Anybody know if this runs ok on iPod 4th gen

    • Succubus

      Well it lags abit on the Nvidia shield on High settings so I dont really fancy your chances for mega smooth gameplay:P

  • Protoman

    Let me guess...you own a Nvidia Shield?

    • Succubus

      YEah and i think everyone should providing you have a GTX Gpu so you can stream the yummy goodness down onto your 5inch screen,theres nothing like playing crysis 3 out on the verandah with fresh air listening to the birds sing or led in your bed late at night ,Freekin in love with this Machine!!!!

  • bigjack66

    While this is a great racer with top notch visuals I've noticed a couple of annoying niggles. One is the ridiculously small amount of prize money! Even in season 4 you struggle to get a grand in prize money. And two it's almost impossible to have a race without a couple of crashes. And a return from A6 is the steering wheel which stops working frequently.

  • joseph hummel

    This was the BEST racing game I ever plaid! It doesn't get much better than this!!!

Asphalt 8: Airborne Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 5