Asphalt 9

Never Played an Asphalt ? Here’s What You Need to Know

Asphalt 9 makes no bones about the fact that the driving you’re doing bears no resemblance to real life, in case the hints we dropped about the tornado and the earthquake weren’t clear on that score. This is high energy, full bore arcade racing with an emphasis on tons of boost and outrageous jumps and other tricks. The first thing you’ll need to orient yourself with is the nitro button, because you’ll be using it often. Your nitro meter is at the top of the screen, and you fill it by running into bottles, doing tricks (including jumps or 360) or by using the button on the opposite side of the screen to drift through turns, which conveniently is also the fastest way through many of them. You can hit nitro any time you have any meter and get a speed boost until the meter runs down, but you can get more speed by timing a second tap for when the meter enters a blue area. Tapping when the meter is purple creates a nitro shockwave, which is the fastest boost possible but also burns through your meter the quickest.

Racing in Asphalt 9 is also full contact, in the sense that you can physically knock other competitors out of the race briefly (they respawn pretty quickly) to get an advantage. Simply double-tap the drift button while in a nitro boost and if you time it right, you’ll do a 360 that can knock out other cars. You can also score a KO if you time a boost just right from right behind it, but of course you need to be aware of others doing the same to you, particularly in multiplayer races.

Asphalt 9: Legends

Though the game supports both tilt and tap steering control schemes, one new and interesting feature this time out is called TouchDrive. With TouchDrive activated, the car essentially drives itself in terms of acceleration and steering, but you still need to man the drift and nitro buttons. On top of that, icons at the top of the screen will appear and tell you what track features are coming up in the next few seconds, including nitro bottles, jump ramps and shortcuts. By swiping to one side or the other, you tell the AI to head for that feature, making it a true auto-drive/full control hybrid. TouchDrive isn’t infallible, as you can still run off the road or miss long jumps if your timing is off, and it’s not going to be a match for skilled competitors in multiplayer. But it is very usable in solo modes, a big boon for beginners and a way to play and accomplish some things without too much effort on your part.