Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
User Interface Rating:
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Besides being a hardcore extreme sport and an endless resource for Youtube fail clips, Downhill Mountain Biking isn't that well represented on iOS. Here to change that is first-person racer INFOCUS Extreme Bike.
The game itself looks great thanks to the utilization of the Unreal engine. All 6 courses are brimming with detail, from the various terrain to the narrow alleyways and cheering crowds. The courses are littered with obstacles and ramps, the largest of which will initiate a cool slo-mo jump and provides a short respite from the breakneck speeds of the steep decline sections. INFOCUS Extreme Bike therefore becomes a game of reflexes and timing more than anything else. The tilt-to-steer function is very responsive and the brakes are quick to react to the touch. Reversing, however, is another matter entirely.
The issue revealed itself when my handlebars would frequently become caught on a wall or fence, sending me careening into another obstacle and ultimately to an abrupt standstill, forcing me to reverse out. The painfully slow and staggered reversal process hurt my personal best and tested my patience regularly. Grazing a wall need not cause such a kerfuffle - just more of an nudge in the right direction. The penalty zones are also far too punishing, forcing players off of their bikes and back to the last checkpoint if they stray from the track for too long.
Although there are only 6 tracks, each one will need to one played twice (at least) to unlock the next. Once players have achieved a satisfactory course record, they'll need to go back through each level on the hunt for some illusive red cogs, often hidden in some nook or cranny and definitely designed to test players' observation skills. Although this certainly extends the longevity of the game, a multiplayer mode (or at least a few other courses) wouldn't go amiss.
INFOCUS Extreme Bike is a challenging game (more due to the issues mentioned previously than anything else) but an exciting one all the same, set to get some hearts racing while raising other people's blood pressure. The frustration comes from the bike's overly sensitive interaction with the environment, so if the developers could tone it down in that respect they'd be back onto a winner with this one.