Android game MX Moto has the chops

by Ian Black

I love motorcycles. I used to ride them, but now I only drive them in games. MX Moto is a full-throttle ride that's worth the download if you like challenging real-physics-style driving games.

The setup is pretty straightforward. You control a motorcycle driver on a long track that includes hills, ramps, jumps, gaps and other obstacles. A black curving line forms the track, thus the graphics feel fairly simple. A touch on the left of the screen applies the brakes, and a tap on the right cranks the throttle. Tilting the phone to the right makes the motorcycle driver lean forward on the bike, tilting to the left makes him lean back. This leaning adjusts the position of the motorcycle when climbing a steep hill, prepping for a jump, or dropping down from the sky after catching huge air.

The physics drives the fun. Topping hills or jumping chasms feels just like you would imagine it would in the real world. Not enough momentum, and the bike will stall and drop backward, instead of summiting. Adjusting the driver's position to make a hard landing requires fine adjusts of your phone. Finally, the physics of crashing feel darkly, comically, accurate. The bike driver crumples against the ground, limbs flopping about, and will bounce backward when hit by a stray wheel broken loose by the wreck.

Complaints? A minor one: the touch sensitivity on the reset control — to start a level again from the beginning — didn't work well. I had to tap repeatedly on my Nexus One before it would take. Overall, though, the game was great fun. I intended to play for only a few minutes, but an hour rolled by before I knew it.