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Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wilcox Email mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

NEED FOR SPEED: MOST WANTED

RRP: $ 7.49 ( Re­viewed on iPad)

★★★★

TWO of Aus­tralia’s most suc­cess­ful video game devel­op­ment com­pa­nies merged a few months ago form­ing Fire­mon­keys, the coun­try’s largest stu­dio.

And if this first of­fer­ing is any­thing to go by, the stakes have just been raised.

The Need for Speed fran­chise is back with an­other in­stal­ment of dream cars, bi­tu­men­hug­ging speed and, of course, cat- and- mouse races with the long arm of the law.

The aim, as al­ways, is to fin­ish each race in first place. Win enough races and your prize­money can be spent in the game’s vir­tual garage fea­tur­ing more than 35 de­sir­able rides.

The col­lec­tion ranges from your ev­ery­day Porsches, Jaguars and BMWs, up to the more ex­otic Maser­atis, Lam­borgh­i­nis and Bu­gat­tis.

Th­ese cars are brought to life in a vi­brant 3D world, filled with some of the slick­est vi­su­als I’ve seen in an iPad game. Ev­ery­thing from the neon- filled ur­ban cir­cuits with their nar­row streets, to the ex­pan­sive coun­try high­ways, both which will have you jostling fu­ri­ously for pole po­si­tion while strug­gling to keep all four wheels on the road. Pol­ished graph­ics and the ar­cade- driv­ing physics help cap­ture the high- speed rac­ing.

Un­like the con­sole ver­sion of this new ti­tle, the race cir­cuits aren’t all ac­ces­si­ble through a streamed open world en­vi­ron­ment, so you won’t be driv­ing around freely look­ing for races to par­tic­i­pate in. In­stead, you un­lock new races via a map, and then need to wait as they load.

For an ex­tra edge, per­for­mance- en­hanc­ing mods can be bought. Add- ons such as im­pact pro­tec­tion, ni­trous boosts and re- in­flat­able tyres could make the dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning and los­ing when used wisely.

Like all tablet- based games, the hard­ware’s ac­celerom­e­ter can be used to steer the cars by tilt­ing the de­vice left and right. You can also opt to use a vir­tual steer­ing wheel on the screen.

There is no multi- player rac­ing mode but you can track times through the Race­Wall fea­ture.

Most Wanted doesn’t rein­vent iOS rac­ing, but it is the finest street rac­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to date.

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