Asphalt 7's biggest draw is also, oddly, one of the weakest aspects about previous Asphalt titles on smartphones.

Whereas earlier games have treated drifting like an afterthought – an awkward counterpoint to the relatively smooth and agile controls elsewhere in the game – Asphalt 7 shifts this most showy of driving manoeuvres into the spotlight thanks to a far more drift-friendly control scheme.

To do this, Gameloft has effectively ripped out the brake pedal and replaced it with 'drift', with your car smoothly throwing its tailend out around corners without losing speed in the process.

It’s a minor change on paper, but it makes the racing in Asphalt 7: Heat far more satisfying as a result

Back on track

The rest of the game shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for those that played last year’s excellent Asphalt 6: Adrenaline.

That game’s title feature – Adrenaline mode – makes a return, as does the long single-player career mode that sees you racing in various modes around the globe, unlocking and buying more powerful cars as you do so.

A new addition to the roster this time around is everybody’s favourite time travelling automobile: the DeLorean DMC12. Otherwise you’ll be racing in your usual selection of expensive supercars and impressive roadsters from Nissan, BMW and the rest.

Stand the heat

The graphical improvements that have slowly been added to the last Asphalt game are present and correct for the launch of this new title, with real-time reflections on the cars and ground giving the tracks a more realistic look than earlier titles.

The sense of realism hasn’t, thankfully, extended to the driving itself, which still remains a mixture of over-the-top arcade racing and merciless takedowns.

Multiplayer once again makes an appearance, too, with a two-player Bluetooth mode complimenting six-player online races over Gameloft Live.

These modes are now joined by an Autolog-style meta game called Asphalt Tracker, which challenges you to beat your friends times as you start each track and event.

We’ll see if Asphalt 7: Heat can remain in the kitchen when the game launches on Android and iOS later this year.

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