The developer Camel Games already brought us a lot of great Android games and are mostly famous for their physics games. Their newest game is a motocross parcour game where you have to balance your rider through obstacles until you reach the goal. After successfully copying game mechanics from other developers for a while, it was just a matter of time, until one of Camel Games slightly altered clones fails to impress. Maybe it’s just me, but in MX Moto I strongly feel that nice physics alone don’t make a great game, because while the game is good enough that I want to recommend it here, it has some problems at the moment that keep it from being a satisfying gaming experience.
Just like in the original Motocross Maniacs the goal is to reach the end of the level as fast as you can. But unlike more recent games like Trials, you don’t have any checkpoints in normal mode and need to complete the level in one run. That can be fun on the first few levels when the game is easy, but as soon as it becomes more challenging, this approach is very frustrating. A new Rally mode has been introduced through updates that brings checkpoints, which could have fixed this “gameplay problem”, but even that doesn’t do it, because the checkpoints are few and far apart, the balancing is not very welcoming to newcomers. Let’s take the second rally course as an example, at the start you have to pass 10 obstacles before a far jump comes, where you don’t see that you will crash if you don’t jump softly. It takes roughly 40 seconds to get there and then when you crash you still start at the beginning. That is just too unfair for the second level in the game.
The graphics in the game are ok, it has the popular Doodle style and looks decent, but a few more different level tiles would have made the visuals way better, now it always looks the same, no matter where or in which level you would take a screenshot. The sound consist mostly of commentary for your tricks and the landing sound of your tire, there is no music besides the menu and there are no motor sounds.
The controls are a mixup of Touchscreen buttons and accelerometer controls and there is no alternative. This can be a problem, because you won’t have the action in focus while tilting the screen and doing so while you need to touch and release it to accelerate it is never a good idea for a control scheme, especially when the reset track button is near the accelerate button. I would prefer left/right controls on the screen and accelerate on a press of the trackball. What I also don’t get is why I can drag around my driver after a crash (which is fun, but useless), but can’t bail on command.
Another gameplay gripe I have with the game is that the way to increase your highscore is to do as many flips as you can for bonus points until you reach the goal. The scoring shouldn’t put so much focus on flips, but maybe that’s just me again, wishing the game would be more oriented at reaching the goal as fast as possible or at at all instead of doing a suicidal perfect flip run.
This all sounds very negative, but actually this isn’t a bad game, there surely are a lot of people who will like the game as it is. But in my humble opinion it just needs some updates and maybe some soul searching and then it will become a really good game, at the moment the gameplay is somewhere between the fun that is Trials and the fun that is Motocross Maniacs, meaning it either needs to introduce more and better obstacles with fairer checkpoints or it needs extras like Turboboosts that send you flying etc.
Let’s see how Camel Games will treat this game in the future, maybe they have mercy and update it before I go insane over the 9th level. I started this review after the game was released, but waited until now, because every now and then I try to beat this *#!% Level with no luck until now. Hopefully they read this and realize what they have done to this poor gamer.
The game is available in the Android Market for 1,99$, there’s also a lite version, which is linked below.