Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Review: Road Block

Racing has been on the App Store ever since I can remember, and it all started off with Asphalt 4.  Since then, racing as a whole has greatly improved with the release of Need for Speed Undercover and Real Racing, along with Need for Speed Shift.

Then came along Asphalt 5, which didn’t exactly impress but was fun nonetheless.

And now we arrive at Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, a somewhat different racing game in that you’re a cop in a cop car chasing after all the bad in the world.  Events include taking a car down, taking as many cars down as possible, reaching a certain checkpoint within a given amount of time, and of course, the regular race amongst your coworkers.

And while it doesn’t sound too bad, living the life of a cop and all, it seems like a huge step backward from Need for Speed Shift, heck, even NFS: Undercover.  The lack of online multiplayer, car customization, car tweaks, and an overall demand for racing perfection, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is actually not so hot after all.


Graphics: Retina graphics look absolutely beautiful, and the developers of the NFS series don’t seem to have a problem here.  The car models are quite impressive, and the environments definitely feel like completely different atmospheres when compared.

Controls: The tilt controls are quite accurate, although I’m not sure if laying down and playing NFS Hot Pursuit works very well.  But, the controls are accurate and comfortable nonetheless.

Unique: Honestly, only EA would ever think of making a racing game in which you are the cop.  I definitely never thought of this idea, and I commend EA for delivering a somewhat unique racing experience amidst the piles of more or less similar gameplay structures.


Control options: Give us some options.  Every other current racer in the App Store gives us tilt, arrows, and wheel options as STANDARD. Yes, the previous NFS games didn’t include control options but really now?  It’s time to add them.

Online multiplayer: The choice to not add online multiplayer is truly mind-boggling.  They can give whatever excuses they want, but the lack’s presence is really felt.  They have the resources, it just feels like they didn’t include it to lessen the workload.  Whatever the case may be, online multiplayer would be nice.

Difficulty: The game pretty much demands perfection on every course.  You crash into one car on the track, WOOPS!  You’ll be lucky enough to even get one star.  Even with PERFECT driving you rarely receive 3 starts; some tracks I honestly don’t know how I didn’t receive a perfect score.  The AI is absolutely ridiculous and seems to have an unfair advantage, and the star system definitely needs some tweaking.

Lack of customization: It’s a police car, big woop.  Spoilers, body kits, speed tune ups… Come on now!  This isn’t like Need for Speed Shift, an arcade and realistic racing hybrid.  This is pure arcade, and the lack of customization is quite noticeable.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is one of the most mysterious games in the App Store.  Why you ask?  Well, I’m totally bewildered as to why they didn’t include online multiplayer, why they didn’t add some more control options, and why they decided to take customization out.  Oh it’s unique all right, but it’s far from perfect.  The fact that I can compare it to NFS Undercover is a testament to how “old” this game actually feels, along with the fact that it’s a step backward from NFS Shift… which was released almost half a year ago.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit was developed by EA Mobile, and I played through version 1.0.1 on my iPhone 4. The price is $4.99.

About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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