Tilt, tap and flip your way past bumps, ramps and loops, to cross the finish line as quick as you can in one piece.
For the most part, the physics engine is solid, apart from how your bike is seemingly made from springs, spraying all parts plus driver miles around when you get hit. The rather understated cry of “Ugh” from the poor guy adds further to the bizarreness. At its best, the game can be addictive and thrilling (or at least as thrilling as you could realistically expect a portable device game to be), requiring careful timing, as well as some occasional patience. It would have been a nice touch to include a Make Your Own Level mode, which would of course have improved the longevity of the game by a huge amount, though the replay value as it stands is still reasonable, with that familiar 3-star system rewarding you for finishing quickly, encouraging shrewd use of nitro and taking advantage of shortcuts. That, on top of the 180 levels and numerous achievements, would keep you for a while.
However, and this is something that is immediately apparent, the game suffers greatly from that dreaded full-screen ad disease, the fatal strain that flares up often and without warning, leading to a frequent opening and closing of web windows that becomes so very infuriating. I can never understand why developers would sabotage their own hard work with something that is an instant write-off for many, and which leaves a badly damaged product for the rest. Clearly, it’s difficult to get addicted to and fully enjoy a game that gets so frequently and obnoxiously interrupted and it goes a long way to highlight flaws that users may otherwise forgive or overlook.
Some of these include the inconvenient position of the controls, with “accelerate” being placed in the top right hand area, often blocking what’s coming on a smaller screen. This cannot be modified. The stylish, neon-lit menu screens are a poor indication of what visuals you get when you start playing, consisting purely of an outer-space-y background and simple white lines as the tracks. Take the background away and it would look disparagingly similar to Line-Rider. Now, anyone who has played Line-Rider will appreciate that it is trickier than it looks to create a single good track, let alone 180 of them. However, some of these levels are nothing more than just some squiggles and haphazardly placed geometric shapes, summed up by one level which looks like the heart-rate monitor display of an erratic and probably critically ill patient. Perhaps he played too much Neon Motocross.
Of course, there are a couple of decent levels, but too few and far between. If the developers emphasize quality over quantity for future levels, it would do the product a world of good. If you can stomach the ads or bear turning your connection off, Neon Motocross is worth a look.
Rating: 3.5/5 without ads, 2/5 with