If you’re unfamiliar with Need For Speed: No Limits, don’t be alarmed – its a mobile game for Android and iOS devices that promises players “white-knuckle racing” and – haha – “limitless customisation options”. In actuality, there are quite a few limitations for the free-to-play mobile racer and one of them is the inevitable inclusion of in-app purchases. It gets funnier though when you take a look at one of the crucial gameplay elements that is restricted by these purchases – petrol, to allow your car to enter into races.
Developed by FireMonkey Studios and published by Electronic Arts, Need for Speed: No Limits promises a focus on street racing culture with vehicle and parts customisation as well as including the series’ staple of police car chases. Three modes are on offer, including Time Trial, Car Delivery and Duel, where you race head-to-head with other characters in the game. In the description for the game on iTunes (the game is set to appear on Google Play later this year) it also says that players will “drift your way through rush-hour traffic”, so the physics model is guaranteed to not be realistic at all.
Along with the small number of licensed cars (eleven) in the game, there will also be limited-edition licensed body kits created just for No Limits by names such as Rocket Bunny, Mad Mike, and Vaughn Gittin Jr.
But the game is free to play like EA’s recent mobile adaption of Dungeon Keeper, so the methods of monetisation are just as wacky. One of the in-game currencies is Gold and Gold can be used for many things, like the purchases of new cars, upgrades and customisations. Gold is also used and sometimes required to refill your car with petrol in order to enter and possibly win races. It is not possible to use the in-game currency to fill up your car’s tank and when you run low on funds and empty your tank, you have to wait a predetermined amount of time for your tank to refill automatically in small amounts.
There’s no information on how long a race will last or how quickly your tank diminishes. Logic dictates that the more powerful your car, the more petrol it will chug to complete the race. It may be the case that players will have to grind away for money using slower, more economical cars, leaving the more powerful cars in your garage gathering dust until you have enough fuel to race them again.
In addition to fuel, Gold can also be used for just about anything. Going up to the maximum level in the game, 18, requires 18 gold ingots. If you want a quick boost, you can use Gold to buy a Black Market Crate which may include goodies like fuel, spare parts, new customisation options, money or designs. To build a new car in the game, you have to race and win blueprints. If you have the correct number of blueprints you can trade them in for a new car – or you can take certain cars and use one blueprint along with 24 gold ingots to make them up instantly.
If you’re letting your kids play this game on their iPhones, iPod Touches or iPads, be sure to restrict their access to the in-app purchases in the game if you don’t want them to rack up a bill on your credit card. Read up more on the game at the official Need for Speed: No Limits wiki.