Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed
Like the original, Shift 2: Unleashed does a fantastic job of cramming a full console driving experience onto iOS. A greater variety of tracks, increased car count and a graphical overhaul are exactly what you'd hope for in a sequel, and Shift 2 doesn't disappoint.
Progression follows the standard Gran Turismo template of buying and tuning cars to compete in five classes, with events ranging from traditional races and drift competitions to time trials and duels.
Shift's star system returns to award points for driving line and drifting, as well as overall placement, ensuring race completion is always rewarded. But rewards can feel miserly and progression all-too expensive, which forces you into repeating events over and over or, worse, inhaling a faint whiff of cynicism as you dip into your pockets to spend real-world cash to boost in-game credits.
The inclusion of EA's Origin for leaderboards and social network features also feels foisted upon you, as it further fragments the iOS's existing leaderboards. Multiplayer disappoints, too, with head-to-head races limited to local connection. It's these minor complaints that, for the moment at least, see Shift 2 stuck in the slipstream of Firemint's superior Real Racing 2. ®
Reg Rating 75%
More info Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed on iTunes
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GoF II - Is it worth it?
To be honest, if you have to ask then possibly not. It is, after all, one of the more expensive games on iOS.
On the other hand, if you're a dedicated space cadet who's spent hundreds of pounds on similar games over an embarrassingly long period of time, and across more platforms than you can remember, then price doesn't even come into it.
GoF II is the best iOS space game by a massive margin, and arguably walks all over some of its more expensive PC and console based brethren too. If you love the genre enough then you will love this game regardless of price.
As an aside: something not often mentioned in GoF II reviews is the feature that lets you share a full game save state over OpenFeint with any other devices registered to the same account. You really can play on the iPhone then switch seamlessly to the iPad and carry on. It's such a staggeringly useful feature that I can't understand why more developers don't do something similar with their universal apps. I'm looking at you, Rovio.
Galaxy on Fire 2
A 3rd recommendation for GoF2 here... I managed to rack up about 14 hours of gameplay on holiday, after getting hooked. It's a little fiddly played on the iPod/iPhone, but stunning on the iPad. It does play like an updated Elite, with less messing around than the original GoF.
Looking at the AppShopper activity, it was last discounted to £2.99 in April. You could hold out, but I don't regret having paid normal price for it. I wouldn't think twice about a similar game+price on Steam.
But is it worth 7 quid?
That second sentence there got me very interested until I saw the price...
..really is a lot of fun to play.
Unfortunately, as El Reg reported earlier, after a couple of hours play I was filled with an unquenchable desire to go out and rob some Banks. Well, I say 'unquenchable' - not strictly true. But I have still hit a bit of wall in that I can't find ANYWHERE to spend my ill gotten gains on Flat-screen TVs and Mobile phones! Wassatallabout eh? Now sitting here, surrounded by bags of loot, I have found the time to contemplate my actions, reflect on what went wrong and think of the children. BAN THIS FILTH IMMEDIATELY!!!
And second to the AC first poster - GOF2 rules. Once I got the experimental mining drill, a decent ship and one of those warp drive doo-hickeys to go collect Void ore I was in Han-heaven.
Galaxy on Fire 2
Absolutely amazing, had spent hours on it over the last two weeks — think Elite updated for touch devices... http://www.galaxyonfire.com/