Ever since the days of Excitebike on the NES and Kikstart on the C64, the act of riding a two-wheeled deathtrap around a series of bumpy tracks has held an intrinsic appeal for gamers.
The mixture of speed and skill set this particular genre apart from other racing games, and more recent hits such as Trials HD and Trials Evolution prove that the affection for this particular type of racer shows no signs of fading.
Ricky Carmichael's Motocross Matchup Pro boasts the same style of play, so you're racing not only against an skilled opponent, but also the track itself. Undulating surfaces abound, and just keeping your bike upright can be a challenge in itself. For every massive jump in the air, there's a moment of tense expectation as you attempt to plant your wheels safely on terra firma.Two-wheeled terror
To mix things up a little, you can perform stunts during your leaps, and it's possible to execute even higher jumps by tapping the suspension icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.
These activities earn you points, and if you snag the levitating spanners which are littered around each track, you can use them as currency to purchase special items and upgrades for both your rider and bike.
Of course, such pursuits are rarely appealing or enjoyable unless you have a tangible goal to shoot for, and in the case of Ricky Carmichael's Motocross Matchup Pro, the stakes are pretty high. There's no single-player mode in this game whatsoever - instead, each and every race is against a living, breathing human opponent.
Emerge victorious, and you'll receive experience points which help push your rider level up. Fail, and you're given one more reason to seek revenge.
The game uses a matchmaking system, which allows you to either select a low-level opponent or face off against anyone. While the latter option might seem suicidal, it's worth a punt every now and then, because if you do happen to get the better of a top rider, your experience haul is dramatically enhanced.Motocross madness
Learning the ropes and becoming a truly skilled motocross champ takes time and effort, but with the allure of racing against real people, Ricky Carmichael's Motocross Matchup Pro can boast a longevity that other games can only dream of.
The need to resort to in-app purchases to boost your chances of success is occasionally annoying, and it's sometimes difficult to match up against low-level riders when you're starting out.
Another problem is the lack of a proper tutorial mode for the Android edition - instead, you are directed to a video on YouTube that is intended for the iOS version. However, these issues are pretty lightweight when you take into account the tight controls and pin-sharp visuals.
Solo players are obviously going to be disappointed with the game's reliance on online play, but for everyone else, this mud-splattered racer promises weeks of extreme enjoyment.Android version reviewed.