Red Bull X-Fighters is a stunt based game that lets you defy gravity on your bike. Feel the thrill as you go at full speed up a ramp, and fly high extending your legs as you fly along your bike Superman style. In Red Bull X-Fighters your aim is to please the crowd by cramming as many tricks in as possible before making a safe landing.
The bike auto accelerates, and depending on how you lean and distribute your weight you can affect the traction. You either lean left or right by tilting or using the on screen buttons. There is also a brake button that you use on timed tracks to slow down before a jump to cut away some airtime.
Stunts are the real draw in Red Bull X-Fighters, and you do them by drawing different pre-set shapes on screen. The game slows down as you start drawing letting you have a chance at completing the shape of one or more tricks before you have to pivot the bike into a proper landing angle. The shape detection engine in the game is thankfully quite lenient in interpreting what you draw, which I like as I draw like a fool.
There are a lot of different tracks and challenges in the game with winning the World Tour being the goal. Eight different locations around the world spanning 60 challenges ranging from score based performer challenges to time based runs.
Each race is quite short, and often you have to retry as it is not that easy to land the bike without crashing. All these visits to the menus draw my experience down, and I would have liked a button that let you restart right away instead of going to the pause menu. Changing bikes is kind of strange too, as you have to drag your rider or bike to the left or right of the screen. To me it doesn’t seem to register well, and even though I have unlocked stuff it is hard to change it.
The game keeps tracks of all sorts of stats, and has extensive achievements to unlock. To unlock all the tricks, and complete the tour you have quite a few hours of gameplay ahead of you. One really cool aspect is the fact that you gain fans depending on your trick skill, lovely.
Presentation & Graphics
I find the graphics to be ok, but lacking that spectacular wow factor racing games need to really stand out. The game overall feels too dark, and yes it is supposed to look cool that way with strong strobes aimed at the sky, and rider but on the small screen it becomes cramped and murky. The tracks, and venues look ok as well. The rider and bike feels a bit blocky, but the rider is animated really well when doing the tricks.
The blatant product placement is kind of hard to criticize as it has Red Bull in the name.
The engine sounds like an annoyed bee trapped under a coffee cup. The menu music is your standard metal riffing that all the racing games featuring motor bikes seem to feature. You can play your own playlists which is really neat. Another good thing is that when you draw your tricks the game slows down, and the sound does as well giving you a claustrophobic heartbeat as you try to draw the shape.
The trick drawing is spot on, and feels fresh and inventive. The tilt or button controls for pivot feels slow, and I often find myself overcompensating this way or that because I know that the controls are slow.
The short race time means a lot of time will be spent in menus that detracts somewhat from the fun game play. Still Red Bull X-Fighters retain that addictive one more go flair.
Lots to unlock and achieve. A World Tour that will take hours of stunting to win, and the chase to nail all tricks and courses perfectly give you quite a lot of value for you five bucks. No online functionality in version 1.0.0, and I would like to be able to download ghost races from those nailing the tracks spot on.
Red Bull X-Fighters brings a fresh idea integrating the popular drawing mechanic into a stunt racer. If you are looking for a racer that you can play for either 2 minutes in line for the ATM or 2 hours in your favourite sofa this is a good pick if you have an extra 5 bucks to spend.
Red Bull X-Fighters $4.99