Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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After the immensely classy and entertaining trailer for Mad Skills BMX, it's great to see the full game continue that trend. Much like its predecessor, Mad Skills Motocross offers that delicious mix of frustration and satisfaction, something that has done so well through the medium of titles such as Trials HD. Alongside that comes luscious graphics, an accurate physics engine and a great soundtrack.
This time round, players race with BMX bikes as the name suggests. Ultimately though, gameplay is relatively similar. It's the control method that's hugely improved. 40 tracks are available in all, divided across 4 classes: Novice, Intermediate, Expert and Pro. Mad Skills BMX is the ideal example of a game that rewards practice and this shines through, even during Novice mode.
Rather than relying upon tap based controls, Mad Skills BMX uses swipe controls to initiate how the bike reacts to jumps and dips. Players hold a finger to the left hand side of the screen to pedal, with a swipe up, down, left or right on the right hand side affecting everything else. A swipe one way or the other dictates whether the biker leans back, lifting the front wheel up, or jumps over a hill. At first, it's a frantic experience mastering timing and which swipe is needed when, but it's immensely rewarding to perfect. It also feels so much more interactive than simply tapping.
There's no real time multiplayer functionality, however competition is defined by beating friends' scores. Currently, this is all done via Facebook connectivity, with GameCenter support coming later along with achievements. Despite this lack of extra support, Facebook based leaderboards still work suitably well and it's enjoyable fighting it out with a friend at any time, rather than having to set up online sessions.
The battle with oneself is sufficient enough, regardless, and the 40 tracks are guaranteed to take plenty of time to master. Much like the Trials series and Mad Skills Motocross, there will be swearing under your breath but also that urge to come back for more.