Asphalt 8: Airborne review

Image via Gameloft

Games like Real Racing 3 and CSR Racing have given a massive breath of life to the racing genre on mobile devices. While Real Racing 3 takes a simulation approach and CSR Racing is based on drag racing, there’s still be a lack of a quality arcade-style racer. Fortunately, Gameloft has filled that void with Asphalt 8: Airborne, a visually-impressive racing game that comes packed with a ton of speed and action.  Whether you’re looking to pull off flips and barrel rolls, or you want to speed and drift around the competition, Asphalt 8 offers something for all types of race fans.

As soon as you enter the main menu, it’s obvious that Gameloft set out to make a racing game that’s full of detail and customization, even if the menu system is a bit cluttered and difficult to navigate. The main gameplay options are World Series (online play), Career, Quick Solo Race, and Local Wi-Fi Race. Season one of the career is available from the start, and is an excellent way to get used to the controls and the different game types. Players experienced in mobile racers may be able to go online and hold their own right off the bat, but the controls feel a little less sharp than in games like Real Racing 3, so a few practice rounds isn’t a bad idea. While the first few races will likely be underwhelming, most players will quickly learn some of the tricks that make Asphalt 8 stand out. Pulling off crazy stunts doesn’t just look cool, it’s a fun way to refill turbo meter and destroy the competition.

Of course, becoming familiar with the game is vital for having fun in Asphalt 8. There are six game modes. While modes like “classic” and “elimination” are mostly standard fare, races like “knockdown” and “gate drift” will provide special challenges that require you to hone different skills. The six game modes, spread out among nine tracks would be enough to satisfy most players, but the dozens of cars (ranging from the Dodge Dart, to the Tesla Model S, to the Lamborghini Veneno) will keep the collectors satisfied, as well. Unlocking vehicles with in-game currency is possible without spending a dime, but will take quite a bit of time. You can buy credits to help unlock cars quicker, which may be the best option for players who are immediate tired of class D races.

Simply put, Asphalt 8 is the latest in a recent line of really good racing games. The controls and the cluttered menu system may be minor annoyances for a bit, but it won’t take long for most players to adapt. Fortunately, the action greatly outweighs these gripes. Whether you’re into high-speed racing or just want to put specific skills to the test, the different game modes make Asphalt 8 a pure joy to play and racing fans will not want to miss this one.


Asphalt 8: Airborne is available for iOS and Android. It can be purchased on the App Store and Google Play for 99 cents and contains additional in-app purchases.