Sometimes we're required to make a choice: flashy graphics or fast gameplay. The nostalgic look of Moto Racing GP leads you to believe that the choice has been made to focus on speedy racing. Instead, its crude presentation belies gameplay that is equally basic.
Indeed, the boxy characters and lacklustre motorbikes of Moto Racing GP give it a mildly endearing aesthetic. There's even a hint of Tron here with the unadorned primary colours and on-rails steering.
The deliberate crudity of the characters suggests some kind of high concept racing game with ridiculous curves, jumps and dangers across the impossible tracks. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, and everything else about Moto Racing GP appears to be a sober attempt at realism.
Once on the track, the system plays out quite simply and verges on being very intuitive and accessible. Steering is handled well enough using the accelerometer.
Two buttons sit at the bottom-left of the screen marked 'B' and 'R.' Although 'R' is a little ambiguous (I think it stands for 'Restart,' or something similar), the 'B' button isn't for braking.
Thanks to the game's complete lack of instructions, hitting the 'B' key actually triggers a wheelie. Boost, not brake.
Acceleration and braking is done via the accelerometer, which would work quite well except there's no indication as to how far you need to tip the handset to activate these controls. As a result, you'll find yourself straining to get a good view of the screen throughout much of the game.
The restart button takes you back to the centre of the track after a crash. The driver never actually falls off his bike, though; he simply bounces off walls and rolls backwards until the accelerator kicks in.
Again, this bizarre physics system suggests a high concept racing game, rather than stilted realism.
Mixing these elements doesn't work. There's the distinct sense that the graphics and poor physics are intended to be kitsch, but have been quickly cobbled together.
The driver doesn't fall off his bike or crash because coding such a reaction was too irksome. The tracks are ordinary because modeling the adventurous ones we expect to see was too time consuming.
What begins as a chic, stylistic racer soon reveals itself as something of an amateurish mini-game.
With a more concerted effort in either direction, Moto Racing GP could really shine. The bare essentials for a fun motorbike racing game are all there, but any kind of commitment to excellence is severely lacking.
If its visuals have caught your eye and you understandably feel the need to take Moto Racing GP for a test drive, you won't be entirely disappointed - you just won't be entirely entertained, either.