Need for Speed No Limits

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Need for Speed No Limits App Poster Image
Style over substance leaves racers struggling to finish.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Driving portion has basic, intuitive controls. Despite it being a racing game, players have no control over acceleration.

Violence

Players can run into other cars, whether they're opponents, other cars on the road, causing them to wreck. No blood, gore shown.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Although microtransactions aren't required to make progress, game constantly pushes them with promoted special offers, expensive event cars, parts, blueprints, even advertisements for other EA games and apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Need for Speed No Limits is an arcade-style racing game available to download on iOS and Android devices. Players take on the role of a street racer in a multi-part campaign story in which they race other drivers to earn reputation and build their collection of customized cars. The game uses some basic arcade-style controls to put players behind the wheel as they compete in various challenges. There's a regular theme of competition, but no major violence in the game outside of occasionally running other cars off the road, without any blood or gore shown. While players can progress without spending any money, the game pushes hard for players to make in-app purchases with ads, special offers, and other promotions.

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What's it about?

NEED FOR SPEED NO LIMITS puts players behind the wheel in a race for rep and dominance of the streets. As the latest recruit to the underground racing scene, you'll need to earn some street cred by dropping the pedal to the metal and reaching the finish ahead of the competition. Rise through the ranks and you'll earn cash, kits, and most importantly cars, which you can then tweak and improve upon, customizing your whip and earning your spot as an underground legend.

Is it any good?

This fast-paced racer may be a slick-looking vehicle, but under the hood, there's very little horsepower to keep players on the virtual racetrack for long. With Need for Speed No Limits, the latest mobile entry in the popular franchise, virtual drivers can take their souped-up street racing, well, to the streets. For more than 20 years now, gamers have drifted, drafted, boosted, braked, and sped across the finish line to scratch that racing itch. Unfortunately, while No Limits has a lot of high-octane flash and style, from a gameplay perspective, its gas tank is running a bit low.

There's no denying that Need for Speed No Limits looks great. The library of licensed cars is highly detailed, with plenty of customization options for a personalized touch. The environments look fantastic, and in motion, everything is fluid, giving a real sense of speed to the races. There's also a ridiculous amount of content to unlock. The problem lies in the game's simplified arcade-style gameplay. You never really feel like you're in a racing game. You've got no control over the gas or brakes, so all you're ever really doing is dodging obstacles. And despite the focus on collecting and upgrading cars, the only difference they ever make is in how fast you run the course. Need for Speed No Limits winds up feeling like a run-of-the-mill engine hiding behind a hot rod paint job.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about microtransactions in games. What are the pros and cons of spending real-world money for virtual items in games like Need For Speed No Limits? What would you consider a "good" or "bad" deal? How much can you enjoy the game if you choose not to spend any extra money on it?

  • Talk about driving in games versus in the real world. What are some of the consequences of ignoring the rules of the road in real life? What are some example of safe driving and what are some habits people have (e.g., texting) that can be dangerous on the road?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love racing

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