Tate Multimedia's Urban Trial franchise has been delighting gamers with casual dirt bike fun since 2013 and here's a new Tricky sequel.
As a long-time fan of the Trials series, I've enjoyed the more laidback approach that the Urban Trial games usually provide. Although the gameplay premise is similar with both franchises focusing on 2D physics-based dirt bike action, Urban Trial has always been more forgiving and less about working out how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. With all of that being said, I found the gameplay of Urban Trial Tricky to be much more challenging and intense. Its focus on performing tricks can be quite the rush and after playing it all afternoon, my hands actually hurt which almost never happens and I play games every single day for hours on end. If that doesn't speak volumes for how tense Urban Trial Tricky made me while I played, I don't know what will. Even though I'm finding it a bit difficult to type this review, I can easily say that it was well worth it because I had an absolute blast working through Urban Trial Tricky's stages.
Speaking of which, most levels in Urban Trial Tricky simply involve performing tricks for points and earning stars at certain thresholds. There are also timed challenges where you try to reach the goal in as little time as possible and competition events where you're tasked with completing specific tricks. Anyway, the classic gameplay is adapted to this trick-oriented setup by implementing forgiving physics as well as allowing you to rotate your bike so you can face the other direction which also doubles as a cool trick. Popping wheelies, flipping through the air, and performing all sorts of tricks in a huge combo string is highly rewarding stuff, especially when you fill your energy gauge and unleash a special trick for extra points. The elaborately laid out stages complement this gameplay perfectly, too.
I enjoyed Urban Trial Tricky's style with its colourful stages that make you feel like you're pulling off all these fun tricks in a vibrant city. I also like the character animations during tricks which range from cool-looking to silly yet remain entertaining throughout. In addition to that, it's fun to hear your character chime in while doing tricks which makes each one stand out as unique. Plus, the laidback beats and groovy music act as a fitting backdrop to the lighthearted fun. Tate Multimedia really did a great job with the presentation here.
As you progress through levels and earn stars, you'll unlock a huge array of customization items such as skins and costumes for your rider, new bikes which have their own stats, paint and smoke effects for your bike, and additional tricks which can be pretty difficult to pull off, especially the ones that require multiple button presses. On top of this, you can also re-play levels to find all of their collectibles, earn more stars, master certain challenges, and try to climb the leaderboards so there's definitely a lot of replay value.
Finally, Urban Trial Tricky has its downsides and most of them involve a similar issue: lack of content. For starters, there is no multiplayer component at all which is strange because Urban Trial Playground allowed you to play with a friend. Also, that game let you play as a boy or girl yet there's only 1 character here. Sure, you can dress him up in different costumes but why not include more characters? Finally, there are about 30 levels to master and if you just want to play through them, it'll only take you a couple of hours to complete the campaign which doesn't feel like enough. Of course, perfectionists can enjoy the levels for much longer so keep that in mind.
Urban Trial Tricky takes the gameplay of its predecessors and adapts it wonderfully to a trick-oriented formula. If you're the kind of gamer who enjoys trying to perfect their score as you perform all sorts of cool tricks then I recommend checking it out.
- + Tight trick-based gameplay that'll make you play on the edge of your seat
- + Nifty visuals and well-done audio
- + Lots of unlockables and challenges
- - No multiplayer component
- - Only one character to play as
- - Could use more levels