iPhone racing: Asphalt 5 revs up Internet competition

Good news, race fans: One of the most popular iPhone racing games just got an online-multiplayer overhaul. Put the pedal to the metal against five human opponents.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

There's a reason you always see coin-op racing games lined up two, four, or even eight in a row: It's a lot more fun to race against live humans than AI opponents.

Unfortunately, only a handful of otherwise excellent iPhone racing games offer multiplayer modes. And most of those limit you to local competition via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi--only a couple offer online multiplayer.

I'm happy to report that Asphalt 5--sequel to the mega-popular Asphalt 4: Elite Racing--has joined the ranks of online-multiplayer racing games.

It's a good thing, too, because the Asphalt series suffers from a problem I have with many racing games: once you fall behind the AI drivers, it's nearly impossible to catch up.

But human opponents are just as error-prone as you are, so the competition feels fair and, most importantly, real.

After signing up for a free Gameloft account (which you can do in-game), I hopped into an online race and was quickly matched up with five other drivers. One dropped out mid-race (jerk), but the game didn't skip a beat.

And it was a blast. Asphalt 5 really is arcade racing at its finest, with jaw-dropping graphics, 30-plus glamorous real-world cars to drive, a dozen globe-spanning tracks, and eight different game modes.

Basically, if you liked Asphalt 4, you'll love Asphalt 5. And if you find that most racing games get old in a hurry, I think you'll agree that Internet multiplayer adds significantly more replay value.

While we're on the subject, check out these five awesome online-multiplayer games for the iPhone.