Windows Phone Central Roundup: Racing Games

Windows Phone Central Game Roundup: Racing Games

Racing Games can be a highly addictive past time from our Windows Phones and the Store has a respectable collection of racing titles to choose from.  You have boat-racing games, motorcycle-racing games, automobile racing games and even airplane racing games. 

In this week’s Windows Phone Central Roundup, we take a look at four racing titles that will appeal to everyone’s need for speed.  We do stray from the path a little and take you out from behind the wheel with to of the games in this week's roundup.  Each title is an entertaining option to consider and are appealing additions to the Windows Phone gaming library.

Asphalt 8: Airborne

Asphalt 8: Airborne (trial/$.99)

If you have a dollar that is burning a hole in your pocket, spend it on Asphalt 8: Airborne.  You will not be disappointed.

Asphalt 8: Airborne is the latest in the Asphalt racing series and takes the game to new heights with plenty of racing, airborne stunts and high performance cars.  Graphics are outstanding, race courses challenging and it won’t take long before you are leaning into the turns.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne Main Menu

The game has forty-seven high performance cars that can be purchased through the racing credits you earn with each race.  You can also purchase car packs via in-app purchases as well as credits if you want to get a jump on building your garage.

You race in nine different settings with the career mode having eight seasons with one hundred eighty events to compete in.  You also have simultaneous multiplayer games where up to eight Asphalt 8 players can compete online.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne Garage

Game play is simply fantastic.  You can control your car with your Windows Phone tilt sensors or on-screen controls.  Acceleration can be set to automatic or manual.  The racing screen will have your turbo boost level in the top center, along with your speed.  Depending on the event, you may have your racing place listed and a map of where your opponents are as well.  The Heads-up Display is nicely done and does not interfere with your racing view.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne

Courses have ramps to allow you to jump across obstacles and on to short cuts as well as ramps for barrel rolls.  Slow motion graphics kick in during key points of the race to add emphasis and illustrates the high graphical quality of the game.  As you complete events, you will earn stars and credits based on your performance.  Credits can be used to buy new cars and upgrade your existing fleet.  When you earn enough stars, additional seasons and events are unlocked.

My only nit with Asphalt 8: Airborne is that it can be rather difficult to see oncoming traffic in some of the venues.  The developer added a nice touch by having oncoming cars flash their headlights but buses seem to want to sneak up on you.  This does add to the challenge of the game but can be a little frustrating.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne

Asphalt 8: Airborne is a quality addition to the Asphalt racing game series and is a must for all the racing hounds in the audience.  There is a free trial version available for Asphalt 8: Airborne and the game is available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  The full version will run you $.99 (a steal) and you can pick up your copy of Asphalt 8: Airborne here in the Windows Phone Store.  Asphalt 8: Airborne is an 819MB download so patience is needed for the install.

Are you looking to race on a bigger screen?  Check out Asphalt 8: Airborne for Windows 8.  There is a trial version for the Windows 8 version with the full version running $1.99.  The Windows 8 version does require 2GB of RAM and you can find your copy here in the Windows Store.  Playing Asphalt 8 on a tablet is rather enjoyable.

Dhoom:3 The Game

Dhoom:3 The Game (free)

Dhoom:3 The Game is the official game for the movie Dhoom:3.  Instead of sitting comfortably behind the wheel of a high performance car, Dhoom:3 places you behind the handlebars of a high performance motorcycle.

Dhoom:3 is an endless racing game where you navigate through the streets of Chicago evading the police and your archenemy.  Along the way, you can collect coins that can be used to upgrade your motorcycle, unlock new bikes and unlock new racing outfits.  If you want to get a jump on things, you can buy coins through in-app purchases.

Dhoom:3 The Game
Dhoom:3 The Game Store

To help you avoid capture or crashing, you have protective shields that can be deployed, a sonic pulse that will blow away everything in your path, and a nitro boost to give your motorcycle a little more zip.

You have the choice of two gaming controls, tilt or an on-screen touches that steer your motorcycle.  Acceleration is automatic with both of the control options.  The tilt controls are more enjoyable and responsive.  The touch steering seemed overly sensitive, sending the bike into the side of a building.

Dhoom:3 The Game
Dhoom:3 The Game Game View

Your racing distances can be posted to Facebook and submit to the games online leaderboard for bragging rights.  Dhoom:3 The Game is an action packed, fast paced, entertaining racing game for our Windows Phone that compliments the movie extremely well (see the official movie trailer below).  The only thing missing is a few ramps to get your motorcycle airborne.  

Dhoom:3 The Game is a free game, available for Windows Phone 8 devices that you can pick up here in the Windows Phone Store.

Turbo Racing League

Turbo Racing League (free)

While Dhoom:3 The Game is the official game for the movie Dhoom:3, Turbo Racing League is the official game for the DreamWorks movie Turbo.  Turbo Racing League also pulls you out from behind the wheel of a high-performance car.  Instead of racing a vehicle, you are racing snails. 

Turbo Racing League
Turbo Racing League Racing Menu

The game features nine unique racing tracks, special race events, performance and design upgrades for your snail, and rather impressive graphics.

The game features four game control options, tilt sensors, touch controls, joystick controls or button controls.  I am not a big fan of the on-screen controls simply because they take up room on the screen and block the quality graphics.  Tilt sensors or the touch controls (tapping the right part of the screen to steer right, etc.) seem to work the best with Turbo.

Turbo Racing League

Acceleration is accomplished in unique fashion by initially launching your snail from a slingshot.  From there you continue your momentum by steering your snail over acceleration pads (green pads with arrows).

Along the race track, you will find tomatoes scattered about that you can collect and use to buy your performance and design upgrades.  You will also get an amount of tomatoes at the end of the race based on your performance or you can buy tomatoes through in-app purchases.

Turbo Racing League
Turbo Racing League Garage 

Turbo Racing League is a fun, well drawn up, casual racing game.  It may not be your traditional racing styled game but it isn’t a bad change of pace.  I can see it appeal to Windows Phone gamers of all ages and, if applicable, a nice gaming title to add to the Kid's Corner of your Windows Phone.

Turbo Racing League is a free game available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  You can find your copy of Turbo Racing League here in the Windows Phone Store.

Drag Racing

Drag Racing (free)

Getting back behind the wheel of a car, the last game in this week’s roundup places you on the short track.  Drag Racing is a casual racing game that is feature rich with over fifty cars to purchase with your racing winnings, plenty of upgrades and head to head racing with your friends.  The object of the game is simple, cross the finish line quicker than your opponent does.

The main menu has options to jump into the race, visit your garage where you can upgrade your existing fleet, visit the car dealer to buy new cars, and modify your gaming profile.  Settings are also accessible from the main menu and cover sound/music levels, visual options (large shift lights, smoking tires, etc.), game controls.  You can also view the game's privacy policy through the settings menu.  Game controls allow you to turn on/off multi-touch, the ability to downshift, metric power display, and metric weight and speed displays.

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Gaming Modes

Drag Racing has two race strip lengths (1/4 and 1/2 mile) and five racing modes that include:

  • Quick Race: A fast, simple way to get into the game.  This game mode has four levels of difficult that include Beginner, Amatuer, Pro and a Boss Test.  The greater the difficulty, the greater the prize money. 
  • Career: You race against a series of opponents to earn cash and unlock vehicles.  You can choose your difficulty levels with the more difficult levels having greater cash earnings. 
  • Multiplayer:  Here you race against another Drag Racing player’s car.   You don’t race against another player but rather a recorded run by their car.  This mode has four internal gaming modes that set the difficulty of the race. 
  • Friends: This is the multiplayer game where you can race head to head against a friend.  You’ll need to send out an invite to your friend’s registered profile and then you can compete head to head. 
  • World Records: Race against the best times posted by other members and the cars that were used to set them.

As you win races, you earn cash or you can get a jump on things and buy cash via in-app purchases.  Whatever the means, you can use your cash to buy new cars and upgrades.  Upgrades include engines, wheels, suspension, nitro packs, and turbo boosters.  You can buy new paint jobs and fine-tune your car’s performance ratios.

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Car Showroom

The game screen has you watching the drag race from a profile view.   At the start of the race, an accelerator pedal appears to let you rev your engine.  Once the green light drops, the accelerator goes to the floor and your attention moves to shifting gears.  As your engine RPM’s reach the red zone, you’ll tap the up shift arrow on your steering wheel. 

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Upgrades

If you have upgraded to add nitro to your car, a blue nitro button will be displayed on the lower, left side of the screen.  When the time is right, just tap the blue button for a boost.  On either side of the tachometer, you will see your current gear and speed displayed.

At the end of each race, you will get a summary of your performance and earnings.  Even if you lose the race, you can earn money for good shifts (shifting in the green range of your RPMs) and fast starts.

Drag Racing
Drag Racing Game Screen

Drag Racing may lack the course navigation challenges of other racing games but is still an enjoyable game to play.  Graphics are well done, sound effect decent (some of the cars are a little on the whiny side), and there is plenty of gaming to keep you busy.  It is a good gaming option to consider when you only have a few minutes to spend on a racing game.  You can easily knock out a few races in the matter of minutes.

Drag Racing is a free, ad-supported game (you can get rid of the ads via in-app purchase) that is available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  You can pick up your copy of Drag Racing here in the Windows Phone Store.

Which fills your need for speed the best?

So which is the standout gaming title this week?  Easy answer, all four.

If you have either just a fondness or a passion for racing games, all four of these games will be enjoyable and fine additions to your Windows Phone gaming library.  Even those who are the fence about racing games will find appeal with each of these titles.

Sure, Asphalt 8: Airborne is probably for the more serious racing gamer but Dhoom:3, Turbo Racing League and Drag Racing are all strong contenders in their own right.  All four games approach racing from slightly different approaches.  Each has quality graphics, challenging game play, and each are fun games to pass the time with.

Oh, while all four titles are available for Windows Phone 8, each is compatible with 512MB devices.  Asphalt 8: Airborne gets rather challenging (but enjoyable) when played on the small screen of the Nokia Lumia 520.

If we have missed your favorite Windows Phone racing game, let us know in the comments below.

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