Pumped: BMX Review

Pumped Action

The title of this game got me thinking, what exactly does BMX stand for? So, not wanting to review a game whilst being ignorant of it’s history, I did what any self-respecting journalist would, and began an extensive campaign of research regarding the matter, ie, I Googled it.

Apparently, BMX is an acronym for Bicycle Motorcross. Now I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that ‘BMX’ as an acronym for ‘Bicycle Motocross’ is pretty rubbish, mainly because the ‘Cross’ in ‘Motocross’ doesn’t begin with ‘X’. Not a lot of people have thought of it that way, I can assure you. I’m about to start an acronym revolution.

So Yeah Us Studios have decided to bring us Pumped:BMX, which is a side-scrolling trial racer in the vain of MotoHeroz, but with a kid on a BMX bike instead of monster trucks. There’s no sign of a pump anywhere though. Quite disappointing. I was looking forward to that part.

It’s an uncomplicated setup. You grab your bike and hit the Pump button to get moving, build up speed and negotiate the valleys in each level by getting some air (that doesn’t mean you pop outside for a cigarette, it’s apparently cool-person speak for making a large jump), and tilting your device to make sure you land properly. While in the air, you can perform tricks to boost your style score by flicking the directional pad, but of course, it takes good timing to pull off a trick -or series of tricks for that matter- and still land safely. Indeed, if you crash, you’re quite literally turned to dust. This is why I sold my bike ages ago.

There are 36 levels spread over five environments, and you know as well as I do by the time you get halfway through you’ll be tearing your beard out in the good type of frustration. Having said that, even the tutorial requires a fair mount of concentration, so you can imagine what kind of bloody mess my face looked like by level 30. Successfully pulling off a trick and landing safely brings with it a satisfaction that keeps you playing.

Graphically it’s clean and uncluttered (apart from the three option buttons that appear when you complete a level which superimpose themselves over the controls and make things look a little messy – a minor quibble). It’s a hand drawn style which is content to keep things simple and unfussy. Menu screen animations are also nice and smooth.

The sound is a little disappointing though. You’d think a BMX game created by a real BMX biker would include a soundtrack that was a bit more…I don’t know, ‘With It’ (is that the right term? I lost touch with the cool kids a while back). What’s here sounds like something you’d find in a cutesy platformer with fluffy hybrid animals jumping on each others heads.

So it lacks an edge of sorts, but who am I to argue. After all, I’m not the bike here. It’s just that I thought BMX people lived a rad rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Then again, I thought the ‘Cross’  in ‘Motocross’ began with an ‘M’. Go figure.

Pump Kevin on Twitter. That sounds rude doesn’t it? Er yeah…@dreagleg


Pumped: BMX  is available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad for £1.49. Get it now on the Pumped: BMX - Yeah Us!

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