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MotoHeroz is the latest stunt racer from studio RedLynx, who also brought us DrawRace, 1000 Heroz, and are known more famously outside of mobile gaming circles for the bafflingly brutal Trials series of games. This is an adaptation, rather than a straight port, of their WiiWare title of the same name. It’s a much smaller and simpler, almost bite-sized version of the full game, and it’s pretty awesome. This is also the studio’s first iOS title under their new publisher Ubisoft, who acquired them late last year.
You may think to yourself, “Hey! This is on the Wii! It’s probably a more casual, family friendly affair. I mean, look at those colorful graphics!” If so, then congratulations, you and I were both played for fools. This game is every bit as difficult as Trials, requiring rigorous precision and an extremely stubborn attitude for success. It involves tackling each level in the quickest time possible through excessive trial and error. The more you play and experiment with a track, the more you learn how to shave little slivers of time off your run.
Tracks are littered with coins as well as special items, such as springs, jetpacks, boosts, and sticky wheels, which help you find shortcuts as well as hidden treasure chests. The touch controls work great, although the placement of the item button takes some getting used to. Coins are used to upgrade your acceleration, speed, and item efficiency. It’s actually impossible to three-star a level without saving up money, whether by grinding or by finding the hidden treasure chest on each level. If you’re the perfectionist type like me, you’ll have to fight the urge to stay on one level forever. It doesn’t seem so bad at first, but once you realize that you need more stars to unlock more level zones, you might start to sweat a bit. Struggling to earn enough money can bring up certain feelings of desperation, making the in-app purchase coins that much more tempting, but believe me when I say that it’s worth it to avoid them. Beating everything on your own creates some of the most rewarding feelings a game can give you.
If you’re familiar with the Wii version, I’ll run down some differences. There are no spirit orbs to collect, no silly characters or story, no party mode multiplayer for obvious reasons, and far fewer levels and vehicles. There are, however, six different zones with five levels apiece, each with their own theme and a vehicle to match, such as desert, forest, ice, future, etc. Also, you won’t be playing the game totally alone. You’ll always be facing down two ghost cars. The blue one is for the next star level time, and the red is a leaderboard player that’s just ahead of you. The leaderboards are a pretty significant feature in this title, as well as the in-game achievements. If you want a more personalized competition, you can create Leagues from your friends list and face them in your own personal leaderboards.
The bright and colorful 2.5D visuals look great, the soundtrack is pretty good, and as Redlynx has proven time and time again, they are the masters of fun physics. The whole game just has a great feel to it. It can be extremely frustrating and hardcore, but having patience and determination pays off. Definitely don’t get this game if you aren’t up for a challenge or if you have a weak constitution. MotoHeroz is available for one dollar at the time of this review, or for three dollars if you want the HD version.