Fun and challenging motocross | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Fun and challenging motocross

Mad Skills Motocross is a fun and addictive game that started on desktop computers, but seems much more suited to the iOS.

Mad Skills Motocross is a fun and addictive game that started on desktop computers, but seems much more suited to the iOS. Sort of in the vein of arcade classic Excitebike, Mad Skills Motocross is a side-scrolling racer in which you race against a single opponent on several challenging tracks. The default controls give you buttons for throttle and brakes on the lower left and buttons for tilt control on the right. You can switch tilt controls to the accelerometer in the settings, but both variations proved to work well after a bit of practice.

You will need practice, by the way, because Mad Skills Motocross has excellent physics requiring you to be precise with your jumps and landings in order to keep your speed up and be successful. Easier levels at the beginning will familiarize you with the controls, but before long, the tracks (and AI) become much more difficult and you'll find yourself repeating tracks numerous times to get a win.

You start your career in Division 4, and you'll need to beat your opponent in all the tracks in the division to unlock Division 3 and so on. You'll also be given added bonus controls for certain levels such as the Jumparoo (a button that makes you bunny hop into the air) and the Nitro (a button that gives you a boost of speed once per race). Each of the bonus controls is available to your AI opponent as well, and sometimes the best way to figure out when to use your special skill is to watch when the AI uses it.

After some time with the game, through trial and error and several race restarts, we managed to make it to Division 2--and it was not easy. The point is, this is not an easy game to master, but the excellent gameplay and physics will keep you trying to stick that perfect jump that will keep you ahead of your AI opponent so you can move on.

More recent updates to the game have added several new free tracks, track packs you can purchase from within the app, and a couple of custom motorcycles and riders with the option to purchase additional designs. The frequency of updates has shown the developer continues to want to make this game better, and it shows.

Overall, Mad Skills Motocross has just the right ingredients to make it an excellent arcade racer. With nice-looking graphics, great physics-based gameplay, and tons of tracks to master, Mad Skills Motocross is a must-have iPhone game for any racing game fan. As an added bonus, MSM is a Universal app so you can play it on your iPad as well.

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