App Army Assemble: Trail Boss BMX - A strong rider or a poser?

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: Trail Boss BMX - A strong rider or a poser?
| Trail Boss

Trail Boss BMX is a mountain biking game where you try and throw in as many tricks as possible without face-planting the ground.

We asked the App Army to take it for a ride. Here's what they thought of it:

Naail Zahid (Xperia XZ3)

If you have played games from the Trials series, this game is basically that, but a bit more generic.
You ride around a set path using the left and right sides of your screen to turn left or right, and the same controls give you access to "tricks" and stunts. Basically, it's a trials-like but for mobile. I would have preferred customisable controls but they work, and the graphics, while great for mobile, are still just basic and generic. Noodlecake studios are capable of much better-looking games, but this one seems dull. The audio is also just there. Not bad but not great either.

Where this game shines though is the gameplay as, like the trials series, it's often hilarious seeing what happens to your rider if you make a mistake and smash into a pole, fly off course or time a trick or stunt too early/late. The ragdoll physics make for hilarity, but again, as there's not much else on offer here (besides the few dozen short burst levels) the game gets a bit bland after a bit.

It's not bad for a quick train ride, but I doubt it will keep anyone hooked beyond a few minutes or at best, an hour or so.

Robert Maines (iPhone XS)

It was not a game I was expecting to enjoy as I’m not a great fan of bike/skateboarding games but this was a pleasant surprise. The graphics and sound do the job but could never be described as spectacular. However, the gameplay shines through as you control your BMXer over the varied courses.

I had no problem with the controls although selecting tricks can get hectic as you guide your bike over the jumps of the course. The ability to come out of a trick by keeping a finger pressed to the screen helps playability and makes getting a high score on a level less frustrating.

My only real problem is that some of the tricks aren’t explained well and the screen that pops up when you touch the? symbol doesn’t really explain anything.

Still, I had a lot of fun playing the game, the multiple ways of screwing up are fun to watch and it’s a game I will go back too.


Paul Manchester (iPhone SE)

As a long time fan of games like Trials and Tony Hawk I was looking forward to playing this title. I found the game started well with that sense of easy to learn hard to master gameplay. Everything runs silky smooth (although it’s not the most exciting looking game visually) and quick restarts ensure mistakes are quickly forgotten. Thanks to this I found the ‘just one more go’ mentality kicks in and it’s easy to get sucked into ticking off the levels multiple challenges.

However the controls are not perfect, quirks like pressing a direction to land safely found me veering off upon landing at times. Added to this is the frustration of using swipe to accurately select tricks which I found hit and miss.

Overall though there’s fun to be had here and plenty of content to get your teeth into, just be prepared to eat plenty of dirt along the way.

Mark Abukoff (iPhone XS)

Very simple but challenging game, doing bike stunts on a short course. I know some people took issue with controls, but after a bit of trial and error, I found them simple if unforgiving, and pressing the “?” on the screen reminded me how to do each stunt. Add to that the few important variables on each short track, and sadly, I killed the poor kid several times as I learned where I needed to steer right or left and at what point, just to stay on the track.

The graphics quite honestly are not impressive, and the sound and music is sufficient but just so. This game seems to try to do very little, but what there is to the game works. I think it’s interesting but unambitious. If you like this kind of game, you might enjoy it but it’s not something I’d be happy about having paid for.


D.T Stroschein (Samsung Note 9)

As a fan of just about any X-Game, this was welcoming at startup. If you're familiar with any of the old Red Bull X Fighter, Bike Unchained, Trials Frontier series games, then you'll have an idea of what you're getting into. There is a lot of repetition in getting used to the bite-sized levels to hone your skills, a ton of various tricks that you can pull off by swiping a certain direction on your left thumb, and a series of flips, spins, etc with your right thumb; perfecting combos and following certain tricks listed as missions is the main goal per level. Each level offers high replayability as you will have to follow certain missions to unlock more in other difficulties.

What I love is this is in no way P2W. There are no upgrades for better parts or characters. You can fully customize your bike colours in 17 different areas of the bike itself which is pretty rich in colour diversity so you can tailor your bike to a very unique one of a kind look. The graphics are great but at the same time a bit generic (no character customization sponsors, different frames or parts, and the levels are pretty raw without colours that pop per level, barriers, people cheering, etc.)

The controls take a bit getting used to and I feel they could be further tweaked and better explained. With timing being everything in pulling off tricks and setting up for the next big jump, sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming as you will either overshoot or find yourself in a flurry to hurry and set up for a sharp turn to get set for the next jump, but when you do get the timing right it feels very rewarding. I do feel this can be tightened up through updates to make everything more user-friendly overall.

Fully installed the game takes up around 420mb and you will have an option to move to your SD card (for phones with expanded memory) which is always welcoming. All in all, it's a fun game but feels kind of incomplete in its current state for me. I'd love more colour, character customization levels that breath more life, and better overall controls/options, and a more in-depth tutorial for tricks or a quick way to reference them as there are a lot. I feel if your a fan of this genre and are up to the challenge then getting this would be a welcoming addition to your library because it is a fun game at its core. For a more casual gamer, I feel there are better options for the price. An enjoyable game none the less, but nothing unique that separates it or makes it stand out. This is a good pick up if you need a game that can be played in very short sessions as levels are very short to play with no shortage of a challenge.

Muhammad Khalid Hassan (Huawei Honor Play)

First things first! I don't like the controls of the game, it's kind of hard for me to pick up the controls. I would rather choose arrow type controls to play with. I liked the customization aspect of this game. How you can change the colour of your bike whatever you want.

Gameplay seems fine to me. Missions are challenging & quite hard for me, maybe it's because of the controls. Now let's come to graphics. I liked the 3D ragdoll effects being used in the game & third-person perspective makes it more comfortable to the eyes.

Last, not least! The physics in the game are really hilarious. I don't know how many times I fell off the bike and the character falls awkwardly!

This game is highly recommended. You won't regret buying it!


Ed Davis (iPhone XR)

For a game with quite a simple concept and very simple controls, it is challenging. You are a BMX biker riding over various trails and jumps, performing jumps and tricks to score as many points as possible.

You need excellent timing as a miss-timed trick or spin will cause you to fall. The controls are well suited for touch screen but you need to have a good memory for where each trick is as there are several to choose from.

It needs a bit of time spent with it as it will take a while for everything to become muscle memory, but well worth a buy if you fancy something challenging.

Roman Valerio (iPad Air)

As a rule, I do not play trail bike simulators or any other kind of simulators at all. I've got a couple of Pumped: BMX games in my App Store account, but I do not remember even launching any of them. They are probably meant for posterity.

Anyway, the reviewed game looks great on my device and controls seem to be tight and responsive enough. However, due to my complete lack of experience playing games like this, I might not count as a reliable source of information in this regard. There is a ton of customization options, several degrees of difficulty, quite several trails to ride and challenges to complete, so all the customers are getting a good bang for their buck.

After completing some levels I was not too impressed with the gameplay and called it a day. I'll repeat what I said above: this might be the right game for the right audience, but trouble is that I do not belong here. I downloaded the game, I saw what I had to see, but unfortunately, it failed to conquer my attention.


Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on

Steve Clarke

Do you enjoy veering to the right into a ditch over and over? If you do then you’ll love my experience of Trailboss BMX. In fairness maybe I’m just rubbish at it, I had more fun finding inventive ways to crash than completing its challenges or finishing each course. The mud that splatters the rider with each unsuccessful attempt should probably have been of a different hue altogether.

The game requires precise swiping and timing to pull off the necessary stunts and spins to progress and for me, this didn’t lend itself to touchscreen controls. I’d often pull off the wrong stunt, stop my spin at the last moment, veer to the right on landing and… well, read the first sentence of my thoughts.

I have the feeling there’s fun to be had with this good looking game, maybe with a choice of control schemes or another hour of practice I’d have gotten a handle on things, unfortunately, the bar was too high for me and I couldn’t get on the right track.

Oksana Ryan

BMX I got bored with this game very quickly. It offers all the thrills and spills of BMX tournament gaming but I found the controls difficult to handle and I spent more time wrapping myself around trees and smashing into rocks than actually enjoying the competition. To be fair it might have been because I was playing on a bigger screen, but that shouldn’t have made any difference.

There were plenty of moves to do such as 360 turns, backflips and riding boards, but with the sensitive controls, these were sometimes difficult to achieve. The graphics and sound effects were simplistic and I felt that the game was probably aimed at a younger player.

If you like this genre of gaming then you will probably find the challenge entertaining and there are more than enough levels to keep you happy. However, I didn’t have a great experience and I probably won’t bother playing it any more.

Yohan Gallego (Samsung Galaxy Tab A)

As a big fan of BMX/Skate games and the Pumped BMX series, I can tell that I was very excited to play this. The controls are kinda weird at first but once you get used to them the game overall becomes pretty playable and fun. The stunts look like real-life overall and control your bike on the ground feels natural. In the air, if you make a little mistake doing the tricks you gonna fall, just like real life.

The graphics look exactly like Pumped BMX 3 style, and in terms of music/sounds is pretty much the same too, I think that a one guy studio making something like this game is pretty awesome already. However, there's no catch other than play if you're a fan of this kind of games, if not... you will surely be bored at no time playing this. If you enjoy playing X Games, this will hook you up good, it's challenging, good visuals and good controls. It guarantees a really good time if you like this kind of game.


Rohit Bhatia (OnePlus 6T)

So I launched the game and played for more than 3 hours in one session and that's what I loved about is that the controls are responsive and tight in my case, I had no problem controlling the character, and the gameplay is good and works smoothly.

It requires more precision than the previous Pumped Up Bmx games and that's because of the 3D design of the game. It's not that I didn't die in the game, I died a lot because the controls will take some getting used to. The Graphics and the gameplay are great as well and replayability is very very good because you only play a level one time and after the easy challenges are completed you unlock the medium and hard challenges, more daunting than ever. All in all a good and good addition to the already great Pumped BMX series.

Funem (Samsung Galaxy S9+)

Trail Boss BMX is an OK game for me, nothing special but nothing bad either. I have played a lot of bike-related games on mobile and console and they are usually the same sort of fare, repeatedly ride down the same section of track several times completing a set number of challenges or completing the track in a set time, this is the same.

Initially, I hated the controls and the swipe gestures but the more you stick with it the easier they get to work with. Nothing is going to be ideal with this many tricks or stunts to pull off, as there are quite a few, its either going to be gesture-based or a screen full of buttons, so I think they chose the best option.

Graphics are, serviceable, I don’t think anyone could say they pushed the limits of mobile gaming but they do the job, as does the sound. The game does everything it needs to do right to make it an easy game to work with, from quick restarts of tracks to increase that one more go aspect to a few challenges per track, some easy and some hard to ensure you are frustrated with achieving nothing.

Overall though I would say it leans towards the challenging end of the scale, but too easy and the game would not be worth playing. I had a few niggles with the controls though as a press and hold on the screen sometimes was misread as a swipe and caused me to hit a trick I didn’t want to and some of the descriptions of the challenges needed, especially in the latter stages wasn’t clear but these are still easy overlooked because of the ability to quickly replay the tracks again, which you will find yourself needing to do very very often.


Dries Pretorius (iPad Air)

I’ve seen TB BMX compared to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, my experience with it was far more reminiscent of the Xbox 360 game: Skate. The similarity sits primarily in the frustrations and rewards of learning the control patterns. Just as with trick BMX riding and Skateboarding, you will fall often, attempting to stick a particular trick, then you will fall a lot attempting to stick the next trick.

When you have achieved some mastery of a track, and you stick every trick with mounting tension and focus, because bailing anywhere means restarting the whole track, you have a taste of the exhilaration at the core of Trail Boss BMX’s appeal. If you enjoyed the Tony Hawk games or Skate, I would highly recommend Trail Boss BMX. It is tricky to learn, difficult to master, and ultimately, incredibly fun romp in the genre.

What is the App Army?

The App Army is Pocket Gamer's lovely community of mobile game experts. Each week, we ask them for their thoughts on the latest games and share them.

To join, simply head over to the Facebook group and request access. We'll get you in right away!