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iPad  header logo

Fast & Furious 6: The Game

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

First, second, and third impressions

Product: Fast & Furious 6: The Game | Developer: Exploding Barrel Games | Publisher: Kabam | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Film/ TV tie- in, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Fast & Furious 6: The Game iPad, thumbnail 1
This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Click on the links to jump straight to day three or day seven.

Appropriately enough, the first drag racing game to make it big on mobile was Drag Racing from Creative Mobile.

Graphically a bit crude, but with loads of depth, it was a success on Android. It was followed by NaturalMotion's CSR Racing - a game which 12 months ago was the very definition of success on iOS.

And now we have Kabam's Fast & Furious 6: The Game. As the title tells us, this is a movie tie-in, although you'd be hard-pressed to find (m)any similarities between the two.

Let's get down to putting some rubber on the asphalt...

First impressions

As soon as we boot up the app we're straight into the action. Like all drag racers, Fast & Furious 6 is simplicity personified when it comes to controls.

There's a flashing 3, 2, 1 prompt on the screen and then we just need to hit the big 'launch' button at the right time to start our race. Then it's just a case of hitting the gear shift whenever the rev counter is about to cross into the red.

Getting a perfect launch, or a perfect shift, will rack us up a few more points, but it's winning the race against the rival car alongside us that provides the readies we need to start upgrading our car.

For a bit of extra variation, Fast & Furious 6: The Game also adds drift controls for corners. Again, all we have to do is hit and hold the 'drift' button when our car passes over the flashing drift box during the race. You release the button when the car passes over the second drift box.

In terms of presentation, Fast & Furious 6: The Game is a beautiful thing. The cars are big and shiny, and the user interface is very clean - as is the flow through the game.

IAPs explained
Fast & Furious 6: The Game has a soft currency - coins - and a hard currency - gold. You earn coins by winning races, and occasionally will get a small amount of gold by levelling-up.

Buying new cars and upgrading them requires you to spend either coins or gold, although some items are limited to gold. Buying with gold will also get you those items immediately, while you might have to wait some time for 'delivery' if you spend coins.

Gold prices start at £1.99 / $2.99 for 30, rising to £69.99 / $99.99 for 1,600.
Within two races (effectively the tutorial), we're into the garage, where we get to choose our first real set of wheels.

This is significant, as at this point Kabam cleverly offers us a really nice BMW M3 for free if we spend some cash buying in-game currency. You don't really need any cash, and it's a timed offer that will last for a couple of days, so I choose to ignore it for the time being.

The alternative choice - a 1972 Gran Torino - is a beautiful car, even if it doesn't have the horsepower of the M3.

And then it's time to get stuck into some races.

As is usual with these games, there are various race types available, from the main Campaign mode to daily challenges. You only have a certain amount of fuel, although it refills itself every 30 minutes or so to encourage you to return to the game regularly.

At this stage, I need to start winning races to earn the cash I need to upgrade the various components of my Gran Torino so that I can win more races (and earn more cash). Let's see how far I can get without spending any real money.

Day 3: Money talking

I've not spent any cash yet, although I have been tempted to spend £1.99 / $2.99 to add a sixth fuel slot.

This permanent change would increase the number of game sessions I can play before waiting for my fuel to refill, and is much better value than spending hard currency for a one-off instant refill.

A more subtle enhancement is getting paint job and / or decals. These boost the amount of soft currency earned when you win races.

But, no. For now, I will grind.

And every little counts. Each perfect start, gear change, and drift section gains me a bit more cash. It's not much, but at this stage an additional 200 coins per race is a faster component upgrade every two hours or so.

The simplest way of getting easy cash, however, is through the daily races, which are almost impossible NOT to win.

Day 7: Go-faster stripes

As expected, the further I get into the game the more of a grind it becomes.

Fast & Furious 6: The Game has five car classes and six areas, and you have to complete the first area to unlock the second and gain access to the second car class. That means there's no shortcut to upgrading your original vehicle to the level required to win races.

With high-level component updates priced at 10,000+ coins, winning daily races doesn't help much now. Still, by grinding I am at least getting better at getting perfect starts, perfect gear changes, and perfect drift; I am becoming a better player.

But I'm impatient to get to the second area, so it's time to drop £6.99 / $9.99 on 115 gold to splurge on updates for my now much-loved 1972 Gran Torino.

Interestingly, however, I don't breeze through the remaining races to unlock the second area. But once I do get there - acquiring a slick new 2013 Ford Focus ST in the process - I'm beating all-comers.

In fact, I'm feeling so good that I'm happy to drop another £1.99 to get new paint job, decals, and underglow. Obviously, when I get a class 3 car I'll have to spend more cash if I want to pimp that too, but that's a decision for another time.

Whether I'll get that far I'm not sure.

Neatly, Kabam has just launched its first tournament - a timed period in which the most active 100,000 players in the world are rewarded with more currency. And, surprisingly given that I'm no petrolhead, I have my eye on the class 3 Dodge Charger.

Which just goes to demonstrate what a good game Kabam has delivered. The presentation and production quality is top notch, and even if it's a simpler game than Drag Racing and CSR Racing, that accessibility means I'm more likely to at least give it a daily play over the coming weeks.

And I'm looking forward to a multiplayer mode.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below.
Fast & Furious 6: The Game
Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan | 3 July 2013
Fast & Furious 6: The Game is the simplest, most accessible, and graphically impressive of the current set of drag racers
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