If there’s one thing the Asphalt series has going for it, it is a ridiculous, over-the-top gameplay style. Asphalt 8: AIrborne is built for adrenaline junkies in a bunch of ways. For one, boosting now has a mini-game element built into it. When you tap once, you initiate your boost, and when you tap again, you go into a faster, second-phase boost. After the first tap, your nitro meter starts going down, and if you tap a second time when it reaches a small target zone, then your secondary boost will be even, uh, boostier.
Asphalt 8 earns its Airborne namesake due to the new aerial mechanics built in. Tracks are littered with ramps that let you corkscrew through the air, launch over chasms, and land squarely on top of fellow racers. Throw in a little drift action before you hit the jump, and you can spin laterally. The gameplay itself is about par for course. You work your way through a series of challenges across a variety of international locations. Play types range from the standard race to an elimination mode that continually removes whoever’s in last place, a demolition-focused takedown mode, and infection, which is basically a very dangerous version of “tag”. There’s also live multiplayer for up to 8 racers.
Players earn stars for completing race objectives, and credits from earning medals, such as near-misses, takedowns, and other high-speed antics. The more stars you gather, the more races you unlock. Credits go towards buying new cars and upgrading the ones you already have. Yes, you can buy credits through in-app purchases. $1.99 gets you 6,000 credits, and the most expensive one in the game is 375,000. You can also by collections of cars ranging from $1.99 to $99.99. At least there’s no secondary premium currency.