One man developer Yeah Us! has cornered a particularly niche market on iOS, having become a little disgruntled over the lack of BMX games. To be fair, the developer has a point as the only ones that spring to mind are Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX and the infamous BMX XXX. Taking inspiration from the likes of Trials HD, and Tiny Wings, this may not look like much on the surface, but it’s a strangely addictive effort.
Across 50 different courses in five difficulty tiers, your basic job is to get to the end of each course. Those who have played Tiny Wings will be familiar with holding in a button to drop faster, while Trials fans will see the importance of trajectory when landing jumps or launching from the edge of a ramp. To get players up to speed, there is a robust tutorial that is easy to grasp, along with a bunch of skins for your rider.
While relatively simple to start out with, the two mechanics work well together; blending both of those game’s important concepts in a logical way. Coupled with the brand new input for non-mobile interfaces, it works really well. Later on you get the ability to flick back or forward on the tip of the ramp to get a respective boost, which adds good level of complexity to the levels at times.
Courses are quite short, but as you progress the ramps become more difficult to navigate without missing a jump. Some later levels include loops that resemble tracks from the Trials games, but they never step too far outside the realms of possibility. They’re at least functional and every mistake is down to how you approached the jump, rather than bad clipping or the game’s design.
Each level includes several challenges to be completed on multiple tiers that ask for a specific trick, total score, and high score trick. It’s a tried and tested system that the likes of Dave Mirra’s Freestyle BMX did similarly back in the day, but is more suited to the mobile arena. Using the right analogue stick and a few buttons, you can pull off some crazy tricks, but should you fall off or miss a jump it’s back to the beginning, making seeking the perfect run a draw.
However, as this seems like a mobile port of the latest iOS game, the courses and challenges feel like a copy and paste job. A bit more interactivity with the course itself, such as doing specific grinds on a particular rail would have differentiated this from the mobile version and it’s a shame this wasn’t taken advantage of. An exclusive mode for the new platforms would also have broadened the appeal.
Perhaps the main downfall is that at its heart, the presentation is almost exactly the same as Pumped BMX 2 on iOS, aside from the new repetitive music, using a lot of the same assets at a much higher scale. I’d like to have seen a bit of an upgrade to the character design as he shows zero emotion; he’s experienced crash after crash, but he’s not been able to do anything more than blink.
There are plenty of challenges in Pumped BMX+ for the price point, but at the end of the day it boils down to whether you’d like a mobile game on your PC or console. Sadly, it just doesn’t offer anything beyond the capabilities of the mobile version and it’s a tough sell as a result. While it’s technically a good port of an iOS title, it just isn’t enhanced enough for my tastes.
Reviewed on: Xbox One