James Ireland On August - 30 - 2009

Turborilla list themselves as a developer who makes fun games. In fact it’s their websites tag line with the word fun in italics. I had visited the website after I had played the game they sent me and I do agree with the tag line. This looks like the first game Turborilla have gotten out into the world and I get a warm glow knowing I maybe one of the first to review it. Made by Tobias and Peter, this game is Mad Skills Motocross.

Ok, out of the gate this game is nice and simple. You are a Motocross biker (if you haven’t guessed that by now, go sit in the corner for a few minutes) and you have to finish each course and beat your opponent played by the computer. It’s presented in a semi 3D side scrolling format with perspective layered out with you in front and your opponent behind and the background falling off into the sunset

The controls are simple with a throttle, brake, special, lean left and lean right. I first mapped the keys to my mouse (left click throttle, right brake, wheel special) and found out after a few matches that my guy wasn’t leaning right or left and making wincing snapping noises when he hit the ground. Moving the mouse lent him in the right direction but I found it fiddly and didn’t produce the results I wanted. I later settled for the keyboard with throttle space bar, right arrow lean right, left lean left, down for brake and up for special, simple.

Here comes the big jump! - Mad Skills Motorcross

I finally started winning a few races with the new control system under my belt and I found it a good laugh. I did break for an hour to get something to eat but the entire time I was thinking about how I could beat the computer on certain tracks and working out the best way to land on certain jumps. After a hasty sandwich I had to go back and test my theories. No way some computer is gonna out Motocross me.

I powered on through division 1 with some nice stops along the way for challenges and to learn some specials. With division 2 came I was barely winning. I took me an hour to overcome one certain track (I won’t say which one you can work it out)but finally beat it and did a lap around the house in victory.

Graphics in Mad Skills Motocross are nice and bright and are indicative of the style of the game. Nothing here is Crysis but it doesn’t have to be to be fun. The physics are good and make you feel the leaning of the biker and when going over bumps or landing from big air. It becomes a strategy game of sorts after a while, planning your landings so you don’t land toward or backwards and then going arse over tit.

The game has 5 Divisions with about 10 tracks in each. Playing the 4th division alone takes some mad skill (see what I did there?) and you will be doing the levels over and over again just to beat the computer. Different divisions get you different course to play on that vary in the background and colour so the eye doesn’t get bored. Level design is mostly ramps, bumps and traps in various forms and shapes and the game has 50 unique tracks to use and abuse and if they don’t tickle your fancy then make your own with the games track editor.

Levels unlock and you get “specials” including “Jumparoo” which blasts the bike into the air allowing for better jumps, balance yourself out or to jump ahead. Too keep things interesting you can pull stunts off in all the normal levels including wheelies, back flips and front flips and a few more. Beat the computer is each but can you do it and get 3 wheelies and 3 back flips in that level as well?

Beautiful vistas but a terrible saddle rash!

I think I know the people who would play this game. Firstly, those who just love Motocross games (mostly all in flash format) and just want more. Casual gamers who have been given this as a gift. Those who get bored at work and buy this and start a league around the office and finally, the boss who tries to look like he isn’t playing it when you walk into his office because he wants to see you about why the team is so unproductive lately.

No multiplayer exists at the moment but this isn’t a game for playing online. If you want to play a friend, email each other your finishing time for levels or take it in turns if you’re one of those people who invite friends around.

Motocross was never a sport I had been interest in before so a game had little chance with me on first impressions but this little game has opened my horizons. This isn’t a high end games console or PC game but that’s not what it is meant to be. It’s a fun, causal game for those who have an empty afternoon, a few minutes before you have to leave for the dentist or those who has a work place they hate and need a fun distraction.

It is almost as if this could have been a flash game (in fact i think i have seen one with motocross) if the graphics had been pulled down allot. It is great if you can get some use out of this game and do fancy a more in-depth Motocross experience without having to resort to a console or a high end PC. I will come back to this again in the future taking 5 minutes here and there, the only thing I fear is that it won’t be only 5 minutes here and there but turn into an hour or 2. If you fancy a go download the demo from Turborilla’s website and if you like it stump up the cash for the full thing. Reviewed on the PC. Crap, I went too far forward….SMASH!

Rating: 6/10

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