The last BMX game we sampled from the App Store was Turborilla's Mad Skills BMX. It had enough punch to pick up a 4 out of 5 stars in our review last year, but it still lacked the bite to deliver a truly satisfying BMX racing experience on touchscreens. So what does Bike Racing Plus bring to the party, then?
There are only two controls to master in this particular game. On the left, you have a button which you tap away at in order to pedal the bike faster. On the right, you have a tricks button - press it and you'll leap into the air while pulling off a snazzy, random maneuver for bonus points. Even though you don't have any control over the choice of tricks, there are some neat animations for the handful on offer
Once you've taken to a level you need to ride rails, jump over gaps, and avoid obstacles until you reach the finishing line. Once you've crossed it, the number of stars you picked up during the course determines your score, and there are also special tokens hidden around each level - if you manage to grab all of these then you can consider the level well and truly mastered.
At first the game's pretty simple, but the challenge soon ramps up as you head into the second set of levels. Sometimes that difficulty spike is for the better, but sometimes it's for the worse as rather unintuitive jumping patterns become necessary if you're to negotiate the frustratingly designed waves of enemies and obstacles. There are three sets of levels in total, but halfway through the second stage our frustrations with the game began to outweigh our enjoyment of it.
This is a free game but if you want to throw some money the developers' way it's going to cost you a little more than usual. If you want a new look for your rider, there are a handful to choose from although they'll set you back a cool $1.99 each. If you really fall in love with the game, you'll want to choose the option to unlock everything but that's still $4.99 in total - pricey, really, for what you can expect for your money in similarly premium apps.
So it has it frustrations, the premium purchases are certainly optimistic, and it's a very simple game when all's said and done. But that's not to say the free version of Bike Racing Plus isn't without its charms and high notes - at least for those first twenty or so levels. It'll certainly kill a few trips to work or school, and those who simply must unlock every achievement will be kept busier than most - for everyone else though, we're still awaiting a BMX game that really captures the thrill of the real thing.
Download Bike Racing Plus (iOS)
Bike Racing Plus is free to download from the App Store but in-app purchases are available. New riders cost $1.99 each, or you can unlock all of the content in the game for $4.99
A fun arcade BMX racer, with some nice animations and plenty of replay value for the perfectionist.
There's a grimly-priced in-app purchase store, and the latter half of the game veers towards frustration, rather than challenge.