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Xtreme Wheels Review

By , on July 28, 2011


Xtreme Wheels
  • Publisher: Bravo
  • Genre: Racing
  • Released: 14 Jul, 2011
  • Size: 77.4 MB
  • Price: $1.99
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Challenging stunt-based time-trial racing; rewards skill, not luck.
  • Slick 3D presentation; gritty industrial themes.
  • Intuitive tilt controls; responds almost psychically - alternate options still available.

CONS

  • Adds nothing new to the genre; little variation in gameplay after two years of similar titles.
  • A few poor checkpoints; occasionally prevents progression (almost always for a 'reversing' section).

VERDICT

Xtreme Wheels takes a formula that has already proven itself in the past and does little more than repackage it, albeit in a shiny 3D engine; if you enjoy games like Trials HD there's little reason to complain, but it'd be nice to see more innovation.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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As far as 'extreme' sports go, motocross manages to simultaneously combine something familiar and already dangerous (motorcycling) and give it a rough, dirty and at times, spectacular edge to its antics. No wonder we've already seen developers try to capture the spirit of skill and insanity that comes with using a motocross bike, but if one game truly stands out of late it's Trials HD on the 360. Similar concepts have made their way on to the App Store in the past (Moto X Mayhem), but Xtreme Wheels by Bravo Games Studio cuts straight to the chase by pulling what can only be described as a 'Gameloft'.

In each of the 20 industrial-themed levels you'll have to keep your stunt-driver alive as he attempts to navigate his way across terrain that's far from traditional - I think it's safe to say that explosive barrels are generally not included in most motocross stunt competitions. While the game is presented in 3D, you only have to control your biker in two dimensions with buttons to accelerate, brake and touch/slide/tilt controls for changing the balance of the bike. At first it's easy to get carried away as you jab the accelerator in an attempt to clock the fastest times possible, but once the tutorial levels are over the game takes a serious shift in gears.

Trophies are awarded for your final times, though treating tracks like a race will see you reloading at checkpoints over and over, killing any opportunity you may have had at even a silver cup. Precision, balance and careful maneuvering are needed to overcome the dangerous series of ramps, gaps and rough terrain in each level, which is further complicated by the rider having glass bones that cause him to pass out at the slightest brush with anything that isn't a motocross bike. This leads to some very frustrating moments as an otherwise perfect run is scuttled by a low-speed tap to the back of the head as you roll over a ledge, though more frustrating than this are the handful of checkpoints that place you in almost impossible positions, requiring a full restart to correct.

While graphics aren't everything, there's no getting around the fact that Xtreme Wheels is a rather gorgeous game, complete with detailed environments and shaders that make the game really pop on fourth gen devices. Sadly there are some performance problems on the 3GS (2nd gen and lower are not supported), which severely limits the accessibility of the game until updates resolve these issues.

Xtreme Wheels may be little more than a challenging physics-flaunting time-trial title, but it pulls things off with a flair and style that's not the standard for iOS games (though not unfamiliar on the 360). If you enjoyed Trials HD and you're itching for some challenging stunt-driving, give Xtreme Wheels a look.

Screenshots

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