Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Touchgrind BMX is similar to a previously released game by Illusion Labs titled Touchgrind. In Touchgrind, the player controls a skateboard with two fingers (symbolic of two feet). Touchgrind BMX is similar but the two fingers are controlling a bike.
The previous Touchgrind game is great and Touchgrind BMX is even better. But they both suffer from the same problem that I simply can't get over. Keeping two fingers on an iPhone screen simply covers up way too much of the screen to have a full grasp of what's going on. I also installed the game on my iPad and, while stretched, the game experience was actually even more enjoyable. On the iPad, I was able to see more of the level but controls were a little off. I had to use a finger from each hand because spreading my index and middle finger was uncomfortable and my thumb wasn’t a great substitute for my index finger.
Touchgrind BMX’s controls are definitely unique. The finger on the seat of the bike makes the bike accelerate while the finger on the bar steers. Tricks can be done by making various gestures with each of those fingers. Swipe the bar finger left or right to do a barspin. Swipe the back finger horizontally for a tailwhip. Flips can be done by swiping both fingers vertically. There are more complicated tricks, but the basics make sense based on where the fingers are placed on the bike. As a result, the controls feel natural.
Touchgrind BMX has some great graphics. The graphics are comparable to the previous line of
console systems (Playstation, XBox, etc). There are various locations to ride displayed on a globe. The globe actually hints at a future location coming in the next update called Polar Ridge that seems to be in northeastern Canada. And, like all good games recently, Illusion Labs is getting into the social aspect of gaming. Videos can be created and shared via YouTube and Facebook.
I’m not likely to continue playing Touchgrind BMX on my iPhone because of how much of the screen my fingers cover. But I’ll probably continue playing it on my iPad regardless of the awkward switchover. Check out the video below. It’s an incredible long (14 minutes!) gameplay video that will be more than enough of a sample for anyone to know whether or not they want to buy it.