The highly anticipated BMX game, Mad Skills BMX, is now available. Before I get started I need to set some things straight. This is a game for your iPad or iPhone. It’s not going to change your life. It certainly won’t make you faster on the track. It’s not going to blow your mind with amazing life like graphics and it’s not going to be able to choose your favourite riders or your favourite race tracks (not yet anyway), but it will provide you with the most fun you have ever had for $1 (that’s right just One Dollar!). Come to think of it, it’s probably the most fun game you will find for your iPhone full stop!
Mad Skills BMX is created by Turborilla, the same guys who created the popular Mad Skills Motocross game. It would have been easy for them to create the same game but switch the MX bikes for BMX bikes, but instead of taking the easy route they took a whole new approach with Mad Skills BMX. There are new controls, the artwork is less 80’s Excite Bike style and more cartoony and detailed and there is some pretty cool original music from legendary punk band Strung Out.
I was given early access to the game so I could come up with a product review for the official launch. The only problem with that is the game is so addictive that each time I sat down to work on the review I found myself spending all the time playing and not type one word. Sorry Turborilla, but you can only blame yourselves for that!
The race is a one on one match race over a variety of different sized and shaped jumps and rollers (there aren’t any corners to contend with). The idea is to get across the finish line first. The initial 40 tracks that come with the game (there are plans for more) are divided up into four categories: Novice, Intermediate, Expert and Pro. The first few tracks are tutorials that gives you the basics on how to control the bike. It’s not the kind of game that you will get to pro in no time, you really have to work for it. While the concept is simple, getting a perfect lap is still quite difficult. Three hours into playing it and I was still playing intermediate tracks, but decided to pay the $1 to “cheat” and open all the tracks. After playing all of the levels there doesn’t seem to be a noticeable difference in difficulty, except after “investing” my time in the Pro levels I found when I went back to the earlier levels they were a whole lot easier than the first time around.
The game has very basic controls like pedal, manual, jump, front flip and back flip (you learn all of these in the first couple of tracks). You press the left side of the screen with your left thumb to pedal and you move your right thumb to do all the rest. I won’t lie to you, I must have played the game for at least 6 hours now and I am still screwing up doing dead sailors instead of flips or messing up my manuals and going over the hangers (thank goodness for the one click restart button).
Here’s some tips to getting faster times:
- Preload to get bigger air (this means swipe the left thumb down before performing a flip for some extra height).
- Look for different combinations a faster route through a track might not be the easiest way.
- Get your flow on. Pick some clean lines and keep your speed up.
- If you are hunting to get the edge on your competition flips will get you a 4 second acceleration boost and just might help to get you to the line first.
When I first started playing the game I assumed that none of my Facebook friends were playing Mad Skills BMX so I didn’t worry about the “Multiplayer” mode. This isn’t realtime multiplayer. Your fastest timed run for each track is recorded. You can play against your friends fastest run, or if you like you can just watch them to see where they might be getting an edge on you. I found it adds a whole new level to the game and makes it event more addictive, especially when you get an alert that people like Ben Jackson has just beaten your fastest time. It’s hard to resist taking back that #1 spot.
I’d like to see a better leader board interface though, it would be nice to have something that would allow me to quickly access my rankings and flick between rankings for each track easily.
The races are short so it’s perfect to pass a couple of minutes, but be warned, it’s extremely addictive so minutes can easily turn into an hour…or more.
Mad Skills BMX is very challenging and some times frustrating, you will probably find yourself hitting the restart button a lot.
Do yourself a favour (if you haven’t already) and go to the iTunes store to buy it now.
For more information check out www.madskillsbmx.com
|Value for money:||5/5|
- You can’t buy much for a dollar these days, you certainly can’t get this much entertainment anywhere else
- There are plenty of tracks to keep you busy (and a whole lot more on the way)
- Mad Skills BMX is the best game I have found for my iPhone
- The cartoony styling of the game works well, you certainly get more than you would expect for $1.
Reviewed by Shane Jenkins/bmxultra.com August 17 2012