There’s no shortage of racing games in the App Store, so it takes something really special to stand out. And while FMX Riders is a fun, arcade-style off-road racer, a number of issues hold it back from being that something special. It’s still enjoyable, but a combination of technical faults and a severe lack of options make this a game that’s difficult to recommend.
FMX Riders is all about off-road, motocross action. Your character will hit the gas automatically, so you’ll be in charge of steering and performing tricks. Steering is controlled either by titting your device back and forth, or via a virtual joystick. The tilt controls are pretty imprecise, however, so you’ll be better off sticking with the stick.
Tricks, meanwhile, are done in two ways. In order to do flips or twists, you’ll have to swipe the screen either left to right or up and down. Grabs and other tricks are handled by two buttons on either side of the screen. This system works well for the most part, but if you decide to mix things up– say, by doing a grab while spinning– it can be awkward to pull it off. Tricks are pretty much essential though, as they will fill up your boost meter, allowing you to speed past the competition.
Look, ma, no hands!
FMX Riders has a career mode of sorts, which has you going through various events to earn money. In order to access the higher level events, you’ll need to ‘buy in’ using the money you’ve earned. As a result, playing through all of the events in the game isn’t a matter of always coming in first, but instead requires you to save up lots of cash.
Each event is divided into several races, and the more expensive ones feature both tougher competition and more races to complete. These will cost more money to enter, but they’ll also earn you more cash should you win. In addition to the career mode, there’s also a quick race single player mode, as well as online multiplayer races.
The races themselves are divided into two types: straight up races, which pit you against four other riders, and freestyle events, where the goal is to earn as many points as possible by performing tricks. It’s a good way to break up the action, but it’s not enough to mask the fact that FMX Riders is lacking a lot of variety. The career mode is fairly short, and even worse, you’ll be competing on the same few tracks over and over again.
Biking down Everest. How can this go wrong?
It may be lacking in tracks, but the ones FMX Riders have do look good. You’ll be blazing across deserts and frozen tundras at super-fast speeds, with little to no slowdown. Plus, the riders themselves possess a fun and charming deformed style that adds to the arcade feel.
Unfortunately, the game does suffer from some annoying technical issues. Riders will frequently go straight through objects, and at one point we found ourselves stuck inside of a hill, forcing a restart of the race. The game also has some wonky physics, which will see you occasionally falling to the ground very, very slowly after a crash, as if you were racing on the moon.
With so much competition in the racing genre, these faults make FMX Riders easy to pass up. It’s a fun game with plenty of fast-paced, arcade action, but it still grows dull after a while. There simply aren’t enough races or game modes to keep you interested for long. And when you factor in the technical and control issues, FMX Riders is stuck in the middle of the pack.