RedLynx is a fellow Finnish developer, based close to our offices in Helsinki. I would support them by buying their products in most cases. With Trials HD, released on Xbox Live Arcade this month, I didn’t need the support your local developer incentive: Trials is a great game.
I’ve been trying to explain why I never got on with the equally well received PC version, out last year, titled Trials 2: Second Edition. It’s probably just my general aversion to PC gaming. Trials is the kind of game I want to play on my sofa, preferably passing the controller around while laughing with friends. (Come to think of it, I only play strategy titles on the PC. And the odd FPS.)
The controls fit the Xbox controller very well and it looks great on the TV. Scratch that – it looks great period, a very cool balance between worn-down garage grit and feel-good late afternoon summer bloom.
The gameplay is built around trying to get to the end of a tricky track without falling over. You are on a motocross bike and in addition to throttle and brakes, you only control the rider’s position on the bike. It’s a balancing act of traction, mass and control, often requiring you to bounce the bike by rocking it quickly back and forth to get over an obstacle.
I’ve only made it to the first “extreme” difficulty tracks and cannot figure out how to get over the first obstacle. It’s not too frustrating, although I guess it might be a bit much for obsessive-compulsive types. There’s always your friends’ times to beat and very often you know you could do a track without failing once, if you would only put some more thought into it. Played with friends, it can get hilarious. The physics are very entertaining.
RedLynx has gone overboard with the minigames for a downloadable title. There are many and delightfully many of them require a good degree of skill to dominate. The more simple ones are a little throwaway, but the best ones are just genius, like the one where you’re dragging a cart with two airbombs in it, trying to get them as far as you can within a minute… only the bombs are physical objects and don’t take kindly to being thrown around in the cart.
Great game, great fun, absolutely at home on the XBLA.