Need For Speed Undercover Review: Racing Your Way to the Top

Electronic Arts (EA) has finally brought Need for Speed Undercover to the iPhone. There was so much hype and anticipation for Need for Speed that I thought it might have made my expectations unrealistic. I was wrong! When I first opened up Need for Speed, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As long time fan of the franchise, I was hoping for a console-quality experience worthy of the name. I was absolutely blown away by the combination of gameplay, graphics, and performance that EA was able to achieve in Need for Speed Undercover. It is very apparent to me that the delay in releasing Need for Speed Undercover was due to EA’s demand for polish and performance. They really delivered with this title!

As the name suggests, Need for Speed Undercover places you as an undercover agent in the racing world. Your goal is to race your way to the top in order to locate a smuggler in the bunch. There are many different kinds of races to keep you entertained throughout the game. At different points in the game you are racing against other racers, trying to take out cops, and trying to get a stolen car to the finish line without too much damage. The races are spaced out over three areas and you can go back and play any of the races you previously won. In addition to the fun in the diversity of races, there are also unlockable cars and upgrades to keep you looking forward to winning that next set of races.

UPDATE: You can now own this fantastic game for only $6.99 which is noticeably less than the initial price of $9.99.

Likes:

Great Graphics: Need for Speed has always impressed me with the actual feeling of speed that the graphics achieve. To be honest, I didn’t expect that feeling at all with the iPhone version, but they actually did a great job!

It’s a Console Quality Game: For a very reasonable price ($9.99), you are getting a true console quality game that you can take with you in your pocket. I also noticed that there are very few framerate issues. I have been waiting and hoping for games of this caliber for a while, and EA really delivered with Need for Speed!

Cutscenes: The cutscenes are very high quality (the best I have seen yet on the app store), and I think they add a lot to the polish to the game and add to the overall experience.

Running from the Cops: I have always loved the cops mixed into racing in Need for Speed, and Need for Speed Undercover is full of exciting cop chases. That is a big plus for me and took this game to another level in overall experience.

Dislikes:

No Free Roam: Ok, let me start by saying that this is really being picky for a game on the app store. However, I love the free roaming associated with the Need for Speed franchise. Need for speed undercover sadly missing this in the current version.

No Multi-Player: To me, this seems to be a sort of give and take. Many games have multiplayer and quick races, but they do not have a career mode. Need for Speed has a great career mode, but no multiplayer. As for quick races, you can choose any of the races you have won in the past (which is almost the same as a quickplay mode). I would really like to see Need for Speed Undercover add a multiplayer capability over wifi. It also would be nice to have a race mode where you can select the track, number of laps, and number of opponents. All that being said, these features would just be icing on the cake as Need for Speed Undercover is already a very complete and polished game.

I have really enjoyed playing Need for Speed Undercover, and I would highly recommend it to any racing fan. It is the best racing experience available on the app store by miles. There are very few games on the app store that are truly console quality, and this is one of them. If you want premium quality games, be ready to spend the $9.99. Once you do, I don’t think you’ll regret your purchase.

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Need for Speed Undercover was developed by Electronic Arts and is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for $9.99. I played through version 1.1.28 on an iPod Touch 2G.

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