Developer: XLab TechnologiesE
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

The bar was set a few weeks back on what a simulation racing game should look, feel, and play like. Whether developers like it or not, app reviewers are going to instantly compare all racing games to the magnificent Real Racing 2, and that bar of excellence is not going to be an easy one to top.

One way to sidestep this comparison is to create a moto GP game, and that’s just what XLab Technologies has done. Instead of using real cars and real car physics, Motorcycle GP uses a handful of generic, upgradeable motorcycles and institutes an all new physics engine. Right off the bat, though, my eyes were telling me that it wasn’t in the same league as the racing greats.

The real problem with Motorbike GP, and this is almost a deal breaker for me, is that it is not optimized for the retina display. Where Real Racing 2 and countless other racing games have perfect edges and smooth textures, Motorbike GP looks unfinished with jagged edges and muddy graphics throughout. Had this game come out in early 2009, I would’ve said that this one was a looker, but the times have changed.

With my lowered expectations in place, I went on to race in my first race. The tracks themselves are all nicely laid out, complete with nice straightaways and sharp turns throughout. The turning though, one of my favorite aspects of most moto GP games, was a mini nightmare. The problem was that falling off your bike was a bit of a random occurrence. Sometimes you could let off the accelerator at the last moment and blast through the turns but sometimes you could start breaking early and wipe out right away. Straying off the track during a turn was a bit of an adventure too, as you would fall off about half the time at random.

At the end of the day, die hard fans of moto GP games will probably enjoy this one for a little while, but the flaws in the graphics and the steering will probably be too much to overcome. Until Motorbike GP is upgraded to meet the standards of next-gen iOS gaming, I really can’t recommend this one to all but the most hardcore motorcycle racing fans.

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