Price: $0.99 ($2.99 for iPad)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4
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MotoHeroz is a new trial racing game from RedLynx, known previously for DrawRace and 1000 Heroz on iOS, and Trials HD on the consoles. This is a genre that they know, and this entry brings physics into play. Players race off-road vehicles through tracks with loops, hills, and powerups, trying to get to beat set times to collect stars and coins. Coins can be spent on upgrades for higher top speeds, quicker acceleration, and longer powerup duration.
The level design in MotoHeroz is absolutely fantastic. The courses demand a precision to succeed and get high star ratings, and finding those little tweaks in speed or spinning can cut times dramatically. But the levels also hide secret treasure chests that require different approaches to going through them, approaching ramps in different ways in order to get to the out-of-the-way chests. They're worth finding, as they grant a lot of coins too. There are even levels that play with the game's mechanics, such as a long jump level, and one where players must try to keep racers behind them from touching them, because they're carrying the finish point! There are 'only' 30 levels, but they have great replay value, because the game makes it rewarding to get more stars in both a literal sense – extra coins, and unlocked game progress – and in a practical sense, because finishing a thousandth of a second under a star time is just so satisfying.
The ghost system is fantastic, offering a ghost of the time needed to get the next star, as well as a ghost of the next person on the leaderboard. It makes the experience really feel like a racing game. Not to be forgotten, the game runs exceptionally on both the iPad 2 and the iPod touch 4th generation, with virtually no differences between them.
The game lacks any kind of progress synchronization between the iPhone/iPod and iPad versions, though best times do synchronize. It's disappointing because the rest of the asynchronous elements are so well done. The HD version should at least be universal, it's 2012! Get with the program! Getting three stars on a level is very difficult, seemingly "spend money on coins" difficult because of the tight margins that can best be made with faster acceleration and higher top speeds. The increased powerful duration seems woefully underused at best, unnecessary at worst.
MotoHeroz is another fantastic entry in a genre that RedLynx has taken command of. The physics-based gameplay, level design, and asynchronous multiplayer elements are all fantastic. Now, if only we can get RedLynx on the universal app train, we'd really have something. Other than that, the game is fantastic.