Asphalt 8: Airborne is a 2013 racing video game, developed and published by Gameloft as part of the Asphalt series. It was released on August 22, 2013 for iOS and Android, November 13 for Windows 8[and Windows Phone 8, and January 15, 2014 for BlackBerry 10.
Gameplay is similar to that of Asphalt 7: Heat, with the player given four control options; “Tilt to steer” (auto acceleration with movement controlled by tilting the device), “Tilt and icons” (manual acceleration via an on-screen icon, with movement controlled by tilting the device), “On-screen controls” (auto-acceleration with movement controlled by an on-screen virtual steering-wheel), “Tap to steer” (auto acceleration, with movement controlled by touching the side of the screen), and a traditional WASD keyboard scheme for Windows 8 devices.
The five star rating system for each race, the use of primary and secondary objectives introduced in Asphalt 6: Adrenaline and also used in Asphalt 7 have all been retained in Asphalt 8. Three stars are awarded for finishing in first place, two for second, and one for third. Achieving secondary objectives, such as performing a given number of stunts or knocking down opponents, awards the player with additional stars. Obtaining stars in an event is cumulative – players who finished first in an event without completing the secondary objectives may replay the race and obtain a five-star rating even if the primary objectives aren’t met. The core gameplay is slightly different, however. As the subtitle implies, the focus of Airborne is on jumping, with tracks featuring a lot more ramps than in previous games. As well as performing standard jumps, the player can also perform flat spins (by drifting onto a ramp) and barrel rolls (by hitting curved ramps). All jumps earn nitro boost; the longer the airtime, the more boost earned. Another new feature, which substitutes the “Adrenaline mode” in Asphalt 6 and 7, is the ability to perform a “Perfect Nitro”. When the player hits boost, a small red zone appears in the boost bar. If the player hits boost again when the boost meter is in the red zone, the car will accelerate even more, with the boost lasting until the player runs out of boost, brakes, crashes or hits a ramp.
In the first version of the game, the career mode consisted of 180 events split into eight “seasons”, which become progressively more difficult. In later versions, additional challenges were added to the seasons. When the game begins, only season one is available. Later seasons must be unlocked either by earning a certain amount of stars or by purchasing a “Season Unlock” in the in-app store. The Great Wall update added 30 new events centered on the Great Wall. The Dubai update introduced a new season where only fully upgraded cars are eligible to participate, besides adding three new events centered on Dubai. The San Diego Harbor update introduced a new season featuring events where the player can participate in a twenty-four car race (only on iOS 8), alongside several new events centered on both Dubai and the San Diego Harbor.
Online multiplayer mode can be played both locally via Wi-Fi, and globally via the internet. There is also a “World Series” online multiplayer mode, although this mode is unavailable on iPod touch 4th generation and iPhone 4. Playing on multiplayer is the only way to increase a player’s in-game level, to which more credits are awarded as the player levels up.
Asphalt 8 is the first game in the Asphalt series to use Game Center for achievements rather than Gameloft’s own Gameloft Live.