Motorcross isn’t the most popular of racing game genres in the UK, but it certainly has a big following in real life, is fun to watch and appears to be exhilarating for the riders. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll transfer over into video game form particularly well, never mind the casual-focused mobile phone game market.
As I have my phone on me pretty much all the time, and I lead a fairly busy life away from home, I’ve usually got a lot of time for games on my mobile phone. So when I was given a copy of FIM Speedway I thought that it would be a great game to spend my time playing, and for the most part it is. It’s just that one of the main features of the sport – the fact that the riders basically just ride around in circles - doesn’t always create the most dynamic gameplay experience.
For anyone who isn’t familar with Speedway, you basically ride around an oval shaped track on an extremely high powered motor cycle customised for drifting. There isn’t really much to it other than that so of you’re expecting anything more from a racer then perhaps you should look elsewhere.
The simple format doesn’t stop the game from being fun though. The controls are incredibly simple, with acceleration kicking in automatically once the green light flashes. All you have to do is hang on and maintain a good line around each of the colourful and diverse real tracks from around the world. There are additional tap controls, but I felt the tilt controls worked much better than tapping the screen to indicate how hard you want to bare into the corners.
All in all it’s enjoyable and not too difficult, but you’ll encounter heavy resistance from the other A I riders who tend to be significantly more skilled than you are, at least initially. This provides a great deal of challenge and replayability and with practice you’ll soon be pipping everybody to the post, champagne and all.
There are twelve tracks to choose from altogether, some small, some large, but all great to look at with a animated backgrounds and crowds. You’ll unlock more tracks as you go but if you feel so inclined you can always head to the store to buy them all at the same time along with performance upgrades for your bike.
For a mobile game FIM Speedway has some decent sound effects, but they’re nothing to get too excited over. The visuals are clean and crisp, and try their hardest to look as realistic as possible. However at the end of the day the only way you’re really going to get the most out of this game is if you are a Speedway fan. Those looking for a deep racer with heaps of replayability would likely be better served by picking up any of the other racing games out there.
Graphics: 4/5 - Brightly coloured environments taken from real world locations. Every rider and their bikes are plastered with their sponsor’s logo, making it seem more authentic.
Sound: 4/5 - While it won’t make you feel like you’re really there on the tracks, the sound effects really add to the atmosphere.
Gameplay: 3/5 - Very basic controls – either tilt or tap to determine how hard you want to turn – but perfectly functional. The nature of the sport is that it is fairly repetitive, so I cannot fault it too much for that.
Longevity: 3/5 - There are twelve tracks to race through, which is a decent offering for a game this inexpensive.
Overall: 3 out of 5
If you’re a fan of Speedway then this is a must have title on your phone. It’s inexpensive and fairly feature rich with intuitive gameplay. However, if you’re more a fan of less realistic racers then I would suggest trying something else. Considering the low price it’s probably worth a shot either way.
- Adam Radcliffe