Asphalt is an iconic racing series for cell phones and other mobile devices: what Need For Speed was for PCs, Asphalt is for mobile. Asphalt puts the technical capabilities of each mobile device to the test by displaying excellent graphics and providing a highly entertaining experience for arcade racing fans. Just like NFS, the Asphalt series is not a simulator but an exhilarating arcade game. To celebrate the recent release of Asphalt 8: Airborne we decided to briefly sum up some past editions of the series.
Asphalt Urban GT – 2004
It all started back in 2004 when the first game, Asphalt Urban GT, was released for Nintendo DS console and Nokia N-Gage. Back then, Asphalt GT could display action from as many as three cameras, and could even have replays. Incredible, huh? Since the very beginning, we were able to burn rubber on tracks from all over the world, sitting behind the wheel of the world’s top race cars.
Asphalt 4: Elite Racing (Java)
This is the first game from the series that was available on modern smartphones – it had its release in September 2004 and was developed for iPhone. Now, Asphalt 4: Elite Racing is available for download exclusively for Java phones.
Asphalt 5 (iOS, Windows Phone)
Asphalt 5 is the first game in the Asphalt series that’s still playable, available on iOS and Windows Phone. The game was released in 2009, followed a year later by an HD version with upgraded graphics for Android and iPad. It wasn’t until 2012 that the HD version was made available on Windows Phone as well.
Unfortunately for Android users, Asphalt 5 is no longer available from Google Play. Old iPhone lovers, however, will be happy to hear that Asphalt 5 for iPhone will support iOS version 3.0 and can be downloaded on iPhone 3G and 3GS. Even for early generation iPhone users, eating the Asphalt shouldn’t be too gut-wrenching an experience.
Of course, Asphalt 5 looks poor in comparison to versions six, seven and eight, but it doesn’t really matter. New versions in the series will appear every year so that racing fans will be kept happy, developers will keep their jobs, and our smartphones, tablets and mobiles will be tested to their limits, with the graphics upgraded to a whole new level of amazing.
Asphalt 6 goes back to its roots by giving each new release an additional name. It makes sense since the series has so many versions. The titular feature, Adrenaline, can be achieved by hitting the nitro while the meter’s at full. Once you go into ‘Adrenaline mode’, the road becomes a blur with purple undertones, and your car becomes indestructible – when you hit your opponents, they virtually fly off the track.
Asphalt was released in December 2010 for iOS, and it was available for Android in January 2011. Interestingly, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline was the first game of the series to hit the big screen, and we’re not talking theatres, but Macs. For a series that had such a strong connection with mobile devices from the beginning, this was a real game changer.
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline was also the last game that was priced as a premium model. It was much more expensive compared to some other games – its creators were supposed to generate much of the profit by selling new copies on the market; micropayments were present in the game, but they weren’t that obvious.
Asphalt 7: Heat (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
Asphalt 7: Heat appeared six months after Asphalt 6. Maybe that’s the reason why this version is so similar to its younger cousin, both in terms of the artwork and the available tracks. But the absolute novelty was its pricing at 0.99, though it had one downside – Gameloft, who published and developed it, decided to make up for its low cost by adding a bunch of ever-present micropayments to the game. You don’t have to buy anything to get to the next level, but Asphalt 7:Heat will keep telling you to spend virtual money every second kilometer. The cash runs out pretty fast, but of course, you can always top it up with real money.
What else can be said about this historic racing game series after such a big dose of adrenaline and heat-infused racing? It’s time to go up in the air with… yes, cars! Asphalt 8: Airborne offers some brand new and exciting racing tracks, full of ramps and springboards which will literally launch your sports car into the sky. It’s nothing like the cool, calculated racing you’ve experienced so far, but if you let yourself get carried away by the gorgeous graphics and licensed, quality music, it’s going to be right up your alley.
You can see an enormous step forward when it comes to the artwork in Asphalt 8: Airborne compared to previous versions of the game. The car seems smaller because there are more lights around the track, and you have cool details, like puddles of water on the road splashing under the tires. Plus, racing on wet streets looks especially spectacular thanks to the reflection of glowing signs from shops, bars and restaurants.
Asphalt 8: Airborne was released for iOS and Android, and will be available for Windows 8 in the near future.
Which game from the Asphalt series is your favorite?