Asphalt 9: Real Game Stuffed in a Mobile Game

Finding yourself trapped indoors with nothing but your internal monologue to sustain you can drive a person really insane really quickly. From a strictly medical standpoint, you should be playing video games right now. This is what I have been doing with most of my time between telecommute sections, which led me to explore video games that I had previously stopped playing. Way back in 2013, Gameloft released a mobile game called Asphalt 8: Airborne, which was a hard hitter (as hard as a mobile game can hit) due to its fast gameplay and bangin soundtrack. It was followed up by Asphalt 9: Legends in 2018, which was basically the exact same game. The gameplay consisted of trying to steer a car on a screen smaller than your palm, which led me to download it, play it for roughly 5 minutes, close it, and then never think about it again.

A year later, Asphalt 9 came to the Nintendo Switch, which was the game’s missing secret ingredient that made it significantly more enjoyable. Playing with a proper joystick makes it endlessly entertaining, and it is one of the best looking games on the Nintendo Switch right now from a graphical standpoint. Who would have thought that a game optimized for 5 year old cell phones would run really well on a 5 year old cellphone with controllers stuck to the sides?

Image courtesy of BleedingCool.

For me, the main selling point is the game’s soundtrack. Asphalt 8 set the stage with 9 songs from 3 genres that you could choose from. Admittedly, they all slapped, but there weren’t that many of them. Asphalt 9 has around 70, and they all appeal to some primal part of my brain that absolutely loves fast-paced EDM music. I have a playlist of of music called “songs to get railed to” which almost all of the songs from this soundtrack have made their way into. These are songs that sound like they could be anime openings, songs that make you want to dramatically drift around a corner, songs that you want to race impossibly fast-accelerating cars to. This music is ESSENTIAL to creating the game’s experience, along with its wonky physics. The music makes you feel cool.

Now, I’m an Aerospace Engineering student who’s spent an unhealthy amount of time working with computers. I’ve put together some of my gameplay to highlight how the game’s physics engine works.