Considering The Fast and the Furious is a movie series built around high speed driving, it's a little surprising that there haven't been all that many games. Less surprising is those that have hit stores have been rather naff. This iOS release, tied in with the fifth movie of the same name, goes some way to addressing the series' lacklustre video game performance, but smart presentation and gimmicks cover a rather brief experience.
10 chapters house 50 events, each generally asking you to drive your car as fast as possible around a variety of courses. Gameplay mixes the brutal nature and takedowns of Burnout with the explosive set-pieces of Split/Second and the result is a fun experience that remains exciting as you blast through the events in no time at all - the amount of events might sound considerable, but some can be completed in under two minutes. 10-player multiplayer extends the experience, but I found performance to be laggy in the majority of games.
Roadside objects explode and fall into your path in dramatic fashion, at first forcing you to use the game's rewind function in order to avoid the danger second time around. Before too long, though, you'll have learnt where the threats come from and pre-empt their introduction. While somewhat gimmicky overall, these incidents look great and liven up your initial runs through each track.
Money earned in events can be used on new cars, while nitrous (picked up around the courses) gives you helpful boosts of speed - ideal when you're trying to ram into an opponent. While most the events are largely very similar to one another, drag racing events switch the focus from steering to gear changing. Winning is all about shifting gears at the right time according to an on-screen marker.
Gameloft's Fast Five is good fun while it lasts and looks as good as any racer on the App Store, but a short campaign, some iffy drift mechanics and a somewhat erratic frame rate (even on a Gen 4 device) let the side down. If you're after a tilt-based racing game that mimics the big titles on home consoles, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a more complete and accomplished iOS title.