NASCAR Heat Mobile is a unique racing game, but needs better graphics
NASCAR Heat Mobile is the first officially licensed smartphone game which offers racing fans a full-fledged experience of the NASCAR racing circuit. The game has been published by US-based 704 Games and developed by UK-based game developer Firebrand Games, known for the NASCAR Unleashed racing game for Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox 360. Android and iOS users can download NASCAR Heat Mobile for free right away. However, there are optional in-app purchases which means you will have to spend real money at some point in the game. It takes up 900MB after installation and works offline, which is good news for gamers on smartphones with limited storage and a patchy Internet connection.
Gameplay: Offers plenty, poor controls
NASCAR Heat mobile offers 23 racing tracks, 40 different car models used across various NASCAR tournaments. It even allows users to create their own team and sign up popular drivers. The racing tracks are marked on the map of the US as most NASCAR race tracks are in that part of the world. These tracks unlock automatically as you progress and have enough stars in your inventory. You can’t buy these stars but have to earn them by participating and winning racing events. You can use in-game currency to buy new cars, improve their design, upgrade engine and hire better drivers.
The gameplay is very similar to the arcade racing games such as GT Racing or Real Racing and even offer similar looking car models. The game controls are simple but the options for users are limited. For instance, there is no option for manual acceleration or brakes. You can steer the cars by tilting the device or by tapping the left-right keys on the screen. Tapping works fine, but tilt to steer feels buggy. The game itself feels slow and unresponsive at times.
Graphics: Modest visuals
The game offers some unique design elements. The home page is not just a series of images of game modes, store and garage. It looks more like a sports complex with a buildings representing the various elements in the game. For instance, the building called store is where you can buy more game currency. The antenna tower is the social media hub where you can link your Facebook and Goggle account to the game. The garage is where you can upgrade or redesign your car. You can add more buildings here as the game progresses.
The race tracks and car models look good enough for a mobile game, but are not enough to put it in the same league as Codemasters’ F1 2016 or EA Sports’ Real Racing 3. NASCAR Heat Mobile offers the flexibility to switch camera angles-—the dash board camera offers limited but view but feels like you are driving the car, while the wide camera is strategically more important as it offers a view of your car, other cars and the race track.
NASCAR Heat Mobile brings more variety to the racing genre, but due to its modest graphics, buggy gameplay it doesn’t feel at par with the likes of Real Racing 3 or F1 2016.
NASCAR Heat Mobile
Developed by Firebrand Games
Available on Android, iOS
Free (In-app purchases Rs 65 to Rs6,700)