If going fast were all racing was about, Need for Speed: No Limits would be one of the top games in the genre — most races last around 30 seconds.
The latest mobile entry in the Need for Speed franchise, now available for free download on iOS and Android devices, comes from developer Firemonkeys of Real Racing fame. They have taken all of their mobile racing expertise and compressed it into a series of bite-sized races that are over before you know it.
I've played for an hour or two and the longest race I've experienced was one minute ten seconds. The brevity of events bothered me at first, but soon I found myself squeezing in itty bitty races whenever I found a minute of free time. And then I'd continue playing well past that free time.
No Limits follows the same structure we've seen mobile racing games adopt over the past several years. There's a garage to upgrade cars, a modshop to colour them all pretty-like, a solo campaign mode broken up into chapters (that's the Underground), a store or two and a few special event areas to help pad reputation points required to unlock new story chapters.
The game is called No Limits, but if you look in the top right corner — well, that's the main limit. Fuel points consumed by racing restock over time, and while I've yet to run out due to regular fuel refills at level-ups, eventually I will learn to hate that stupid meter and its artificial limitation.
For now though I'm having a blast, especially with the modding, upgrading and unlocking new cars. It's all done via items earned through racing, purchased from chests or bought in the game's black market. Each car requires a set number of blueprints to build. Once built a new car unlocks a new special series of car-specific racing events. Parts can be upgraded and rebuilt in the garage as well. It's all about upping your car's performance rating in order to participate in what I am guessing are more difficult events — so far it's been a breeze.
I was ready to jump on Need for Speed: No Limits for its free-to-play structure, but you know what? Here it works. Despite being little more than moving the car left and right (no time for manual acceleration here) the races look love and are quite fun in short spurts.