2011 has barely begun and it's already clear that it's shaping up to be the year of Android. For starters, gaming giant EA has thrown its weight behind the platform, and Need For Speed: Shift proves it means business.
As you'd expect, this is a beautiful looking 3D racer, and a fitting part of the Need For Speed console mega-franchise.
Controls are ludicrously simple: your motion-sensitive phone is a steering wheel - turn it left and right to race around a variety of photorealistic tracks, or flick it quickly to drift round corners.
The game will automatically brake and accelerate, leaving you to focus on squeezing past your rivals, winning races and upgrading your car with high-street essentials like nitro and and a spoiler. You might also wish to marvel at the way the horizon stays horizontal when you twist your phone.
Just like in the real world you get points for aggressive driving - except in Need For Speed these points don't lead to you losing your license. In fact, they lead to badges, stars - and of course the unlocking of new courses and cars.
The career mode should keep you entertained for many hours with a variety of race types, from duels to drift challenges. It's a shame there's no multiplayer option, though.
Need for Speed: Shift needs a high-end handset to get the most out of it, too, so make sure you check out the comments and info and the Android Market before you pay your money. But if you have the hardware, it's hard to beat Need For Speed: Shift - it's more than a match for the sort of games you get on portable consoles and could even bag a place on the Best of Game of the Year podium.
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This top-class racer marks the moment that Android became a top-class gaming plaftorm