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Need for Speed: Undercover on Your BlackBerry PlayBook

Need for Speed: Undercover is one of the two games that comes on your BlackBerry PlayBook. First of all, this game is a lot of fun. Secondly, it’s a great way to show off some of the PlayBook’s advanced graphics and controls.

Need for Speed: Undercover is part of a series of racing video games; parent company Electronic Arts has sold more than 100 million copies of the various titles. Perhaps coincidentally (or not) the series was originally developed by a Canadian company in 1994; Distinctive Software was later purchased by EA.

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Before the game you can choose a car, adjust its setup, and pick some race tracks. You take hold of the BlackBerry PlayBook (get a good grip, please) and start the race with a tap; then you steer by rotating the tablet left or right.

You can apply the brakes and adjust for spinouts, but basically you’re trying to keep your car in the middle of the street as it bends one way or another and as cars come at you or across an intersection.

And then there are pesky things like trash cans, cobblestones, median strips, street signs: they’re all designed to make things interesting. The game is also accompanied by a frenetic and repetitive soundtrack; you can turn down the music but you’re going to want to hear the squeal of tires.

Handle music and sound effects volume this way:

  1. Before starting a race, tap the options icon.

    The icon looks like a set of tools.

  2. Tap the sound icon.

    The icon looks like a loudspeaker. Two sliders are available when you click: Music and SFX. The latter is for sound effects including engine noise, squealing tires, and crashes.

  3. Use the slider to reduce or mute the sound volume (or to rev up the noise).

There is also just a bit of pre-race coaching.

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You’re definitely going to want to try Need for Speed: Underground. But does this sound like a game you might not want to play at your desk when the boss is walking around?

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