DMBX 2 (universal) by Randerline is a mountain biking game, the sequel to the studio’s previous pedal-packed offering. By improving on its predecessors interface, DMBX 2 is definitely a step in the right direction for the franchise.
Mastering DMBX 2 is all in the game’s controls – which are complex, but surprisingly simple to grasp and learn. Tapping dedicated sections of the screen control pedaling, braking, and jumping, with tilts to the left and right to control direction of the bike. The only thing that takes real practice is mastering the game’s trick system, which is key to completing some of the challenges.
Jumping is all about timing: unlike many other games of its kind, there is no need to wind up and prepare for a jump. Tapping jump at the right time will launch a player into the air, and bring up eight different icons to tap and hold for tricks. Flipping and spinning is controlled on the right side of the screen, which means the most difficult, score-piling tricks incorporate elements of touch, tilt, and swipe – just about every control scheme an iOS device can offer.
It’s definitely an active game controls-wise, but in each of the game’s three environments, there are four different challenges for players to compete in, both involving timed events and score-based competitions. Within each challenge, there are three tiers of difficulty, which add up to 36 different challenges to master.
Sometimes the bland track visuals and quirky collision animations can make even the most adrenaline-packed races run together over time – unfortunately, there aren’t really any graphical frills outside of unlockable player skins and tricks, which can be assigned to the different icons with a few quick taps. Also, completing challenges automatically improves a racer’s abilities – it would be nice to have control over what abilities are improved, so players can compensate properly for their particular weaknesses.
DMBX 2 isn’t a perfect extreme sports title, but it’s a great sequel to an oft-overlooked sport in the video game world. It will take a little bit of practice, but going for the race record or a sick trick combination is an exhilerating experience in DMBX 2 – and that’s what will keep sports and racing fans coming back for more.