I used to love playing Excitebike back when I first got my NES. It was a very simple but fun game, running up ramps and making huge jumps. Moto Mania reminds me of Excitebike quite a bit; it’s a very simple and fun game, running up ramps and making huge jumps.
Controls are equally simple: to accelerate, touch the right side of the screen. To reverse, touch the left side of the screen. To tilt back or forward (including doing backflips or forward flips), tilt your phone to the left or right to flip backwards or forwards, respectively. This is important, as landing wrong will cause you to fly off your bike and ragdollize.
However, while Excitebike was limited to a couple of motocross tracks, Moto Mania has twenty tracks split between an outdoor environment and a city environment. In these environments, there are various ramps, jumps, pits, and other obstacles to help you fly in the sky and flip your bike. Or, you know, fly off your bike and ragdollize.
Indeed, one of the joys of the game is watching your biker ragdollize during the many (MANY!) accidents you WILL have, screaming in agony accompanied by the snapping of bones. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I’m beginning to wonder if the game should have been called “Pocket Sadist”.
A nice addition is the ability to customize your bike by selecting the bike paint and wheels, and it keeps track of your best times around each track, giving the tracks some replay value in trying to beat your own best time.
However, Moto Mania does have a few problems. The biggest is the sheer shortness of the game. Each of the twenty tracks can be completed in less than a minute, and even allowing for a certain amount of time spent just running my biker off the track and watching him slam into walls, I was done with the game in less than an hour.
Another small disappointment is that, considering the much trumpeted ragdoll physics, the biker doesn’t ragdollize all that much. He has only 3 points of articulation, as well as only having one arm and one leg. I suppose that’s only fair enough for a 2D character, but it’d be much more fun to watch both arms and legs ragdollizing independently.
Just the same, I haven’t had this much fun crashing and burning since playing the original Burnout. I think that makes it worthwhile.