Trials HD is perhaps one of the most wanted games on the iPhone App Store, and now here it is! Well, that isn’t quite true, but you could be forgiven for thinking that Trials HD had just blasted its way onto the iPhone by taking a glance or two at the screenshots of this latest game, Rock(s) Rider.
Now, usually I would criticise a game for this, but here I will be far more forgiving, as Trials HD hasn’t exactly been around for many years, and there hasn’t been that many clones released, and after all, isn’t Trials HD itself just an evolution of Excitebike?
I would be happy if the developer had simply made a good job of creating a Trials HD clone that is fun and playable, with maybe more innovation planned for later, but as it happens, Rock(s) Rider does try a couple of new things for itself, although I am sure you only want to hear one thing- does it feel like Trials HD on iPhone?
The answer is nearly. Very, very nearly. So close that I am sure that the developer can get there with a few tiny tweaks here and there.
So, it looks and plays just as you would expect: a side on view of a motorbike that can only move on a 2D plane, with the player having the ability to accelerate, brake and tilt the rider forwards and backward. You must negotiate a series of levels that usually comprise a few ramps, jumps and loop de loops, as well as placing many obstacles in your path.
You must learn to use the throttle correctly, but getting the hang of how to use your driver’s ability to lean is of critical importance, even on the most gentle of slopes. If you crash, you must go back to the last checkpoint, which are usually generously strewn across the stages.
It is brilliant fun. The only complaint I would make in terms of the way the game controls is that I feel that the forward leaning is a little too sensitive. Just a little, but enough to frustrate at key times.
Rock(s) Rider has 28 levels at the moment, with more to come, and as the levels are pretty difficult, I feel that there are many hours of enjoyment to be found here. The secret extra levels, where the developer lets us play with a three wheeled bike, are the icing on the cake, and there are Game Center achievements and leaderboards to aim for, as well as hidden items in the stages and paint jobs and rider costumes to unlock. You can also place bets on how well you think you are going to do in the event, and the boss races are cool.
The graphics are excellent, with highly detailed levels and nice special effects. I can tell that a lot of love went into creating the stages, although I do have one small issue with the graphics. The rider on the bike just seems a little bit too stiff looking, and doesn’t react well to landings. You can fall a hundred feet and he or she won’t react at all. Not a big problem, but it does spoil the visuals a little.
The sound is good with some great tunes and effects. I have to give a special mention to the menu screens, as they are great looking and appear just as good as Codemasters and EA games look on console. Great effort made here by the developer.
Overall, this is a great Trials HD clone. There are a couple of niggles holding it back, but nothing too major. There are a couple of new ideas here in the three wheeled bike, races against boss characters and race betting, so it isn’t ‘just’ a clone, although these things don’t quite give the game its own distinct character just yet. If you are looking for Trials HD on iPhone, then this game is the closest you are going to get, with nearly faultless gameplay and nearly faultless graphics, this is a worthy attempt.