There's a PC and Xbox game series called Trials that is about using minimalist controls to edge your bike across an increasingly tricky environment without falling off and breaking every bone in your body.
Oddly enough, an identical description could be written for Trial Xtreme 2 HD, only it's on Android and it removes the pesky letter 's' from the word 'Trials'.
If you're rolling your eyes at this point, put aside your cynicism for a moment. Although Trial Xtreme 2 HD is nowhere near as good as the game it seeks to emulate, its developer has managed to do a decent job of replicating the addictive (and infuriating) gameplay that the Trials series is known for on a mobile device.Motorcycle trickiness
As outlined above, the aim in Trial Extreme 2 HD is to work your way across each map from left to right. Because it's side-on, there's no steering involved: all you need to worry about is accelerating, braking, balancing, and hopping.
By default, the speeding up, slowing down, and bunny hop controls are handled by some virtual buttons, and the balancing is achieved by tilting the handset left and right.
This works reasonably well, even if it's sometimes a little inexact. If you want slightly more control, you can utilise the touchscreen to retain your balance as well, though this crowds the screen and makes more advanced moves a great feat of dexterity.
For some unknown reason, one of the few things this game doesn't borrow from the Trials series is the checkpointing system. If you fall off at any point (and you will - a lot), then it's back to the start, I'm afraid.
Fortunately, muscle memory takes over after a while, and sections that proved insurmountable just moments before are often easily navigated.Biker chic
Trial Extreme 2 HD looks quite stylish, and the physics feel weighty enough, unlike most of its rivals in the genre. It does lack a certain amount of polish, mind, and you'll quite often see parts of your bike going through solid objects, inevitably requiring a restart.
Despite these faults, many of the strong points borrowed from the Trials formula still manage to shine through. It's satisfying when it all comes together, and since each course is actually quite short, it's a good fit for the mobile format.