Over the past number of years, motocross games have taken a great leap forward, particularly in the aspect of physics, which seems ECA-GAMES has made one of their main focal points of their newest game, Rock(s) Rider ($2.99, App Store Link). Especially for extreme sports games, there are a lot of rag-doll physics, but the developers went with a more realistic approach to crashes, which also play a significant part of the game.
In Rock(s) Rider, you play as a male or female character and you start with one bike. You can then customize it by choosing skins once you’ve collected enough money from each challenge. You can also customize the riders’ gear from the same menu, though it’s fairly limited throughout the beginning challenges of the game.
Rock(s) Rider is a great arcade style motorbike game, which is not common on the App Store. There are more than 60 challenges in all. You have the option to either bet a certain amount or not before the start of each stage. A few different things you can bet on are finishing the stage under a certain amount of time or completing the game with no faults (not crashing). Besides the motorbike that you start out with, players can also ride a three-wheeler, in extras mode, which is Threefold Madness.
The three-wheeler handles just as well as the motorbike and I think is more fun to drive. At the end of each warehouse, you can also race against the boss side-by-side, unlike the regular levels where you’re just going through the environments and throughout the track earning money and completing stunts. Of course the bets change all the time, so the challenges that are given to you are never the same on any given level. Also in each level, there is a trick system that rewards you for landing tricks. You can use this money that was rewarded to you to buy skins and clothes, just as the money rewarded at the end of the level. The money you get from the tricks is added within your grand total.
As far as presentation and graphics go, Rock(s) Rider stands out so well, even from the menu screen. The menus are more of a 3D style, which you rarely see in iOS games, or any mobile games for that matter, but more in console games. Rock(s) Rider was developed using the Unity 3.5 engine, which is the same engine that was used to develop Shadowgun and Rochard. ECA-GAMES also did a tremendous job with the physics of the bikers and the impact of their crashes. The physics look really realistic, unlike other extreme sports games where it may seem a bit exaggerated. Even more so, the textures and graphics on the new iPad’s retina display stand out even better.
Another area of the game that ECA seemed to focus on quite a bit were the controls. From the options menu you can adjust the controls to your liking and comfort. There are nine variations of controls to choose from. You can either use the accelerometer or the on-screen controls to pull back or push forward. From my experience, the on-screen controls worked better and they were easier to adjust to. With the accelerometer you can adjust the sensitivity but I wasn’t able to find a comfortable setting.
If you use the on-screen controls, you can either choose from the slider or the left and right buttons. I don’t think there’s too much of a difference, but for the more casual gamer, the left and right buttons might be best. As far as the throttle goes, you can either choose to press the left or right side of the screen, use a slider, or the left and right buttons. Any one of these works well and feels natural.
Rock(s) Rider is a great motorbike game with so much to offer. With over 60 challenges, 40 achievements, and plenty of levels; there is plenty of gameplay and a lot of replay value, which of course includes the “extras” mode. Rock(s) Rider also includes a great rock soundtrack, which fits so well with the game. Before you start the first level, you’re introduced with a short story that explains the goals and the people you’re betting against. It’s just text and images.
There aren’t any cut scenes. I think that would have been nice and something that would be fairly easy to achieve because of the Unity 3.5 engine. Overall, Rock(s) Rider is a great motorbike game with so much to offer in terms of gameplay and graphics. If you’re into extreme sports games, and even more so, motorbike games, don’t hesitate on trying out Rock(s) Rider.
Price: ($2.99, App Store Link)
- Over 60 challenges, 40 achievements, and plenty of levels
- Great graphics developed using the Unity 3.5 engine
- 9 different control variants
- Great soundtrack
- Cutscenes would be a great addition and add a lot to the story
- Accelerometer controls are hard to get used to