Pumped BMX + Review

Based on the Mobile game and developed by Carbon comes Pumped BMX + which is yours for just £7.99 and will test your nerves as you ride through a number of levels pulling off all sorts of tricks and stunts on your BMX bike. The price is low, the challenge is high but is this worthy of your time and money especially in light of more fully fledged offerings from the likes of the Trials games.

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Pumped BMX + starts off simple enough offering a basic tutorial to introduce the core mechanics of maintaining speed, performing jumps, landing correctly and then moving on to the more complex aerial stunts. It’s fairly easy to understand with a limited number of moves available performed by directions on the thumbsticks and or holding a button, however the key to success is being able to navigate the levels which again start out with simple ramps and get much more complicated where completion of the course becomes a challenge in itself, and that’s even before you’ve mastered pulling off tricks. Thanks to the ease of use it’s certainly got a hook which keeps you trying again and again, but it’s not an easy game once you’re passed the opening “Local” set of levels. You can go back to completed levels and try to obtain a higher score or beat any of the set challenges which are key to unlocking the harder content, but there comes a point where progression might become blocked if you’re struggling. In this regard it’s an unforgiving game which doesn’t allow much margin for error, so if you’ve run out of momentum due to poor timing of a jump you’re going to have to restart over and over again which becomes tiresome.

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In terms of visuals the game offers a basic animated look which serves its purpose well across its themed levels. There’s no blood, broken bones or cries of pain alongside some basic animations when you crash out which look painful but have no impact as your rider jumps back in again for more punishment especially if you’re having difficulty. There’s a neat soundtrack that seems fitting to the game’s style and is easy listening as you trick out but no actual feedback sounds from the rider which is odd.

Longevity is a mixed bag in Pumped BMX + because on one hand there’s few levels but over 120 challenges to tick off on the score sheet before you can reach the 5 star Legend rated events. The biggest issue is how skilled you are at beating said challenges to progress. This is what takes time and requires a real mastery of how the game wants you to complete levels. If you’re lacking in patience then this might be cause for pad throwing and simply switching the game off. What might be great fodder on a train journey home after work on mobile, at home the frustration levels can be easily abated by playing another game. In this regard Pumped BMX + offers little else once you get bored of performing the same challenges over and over or are royally stuck.

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Pumped BMX + is an interesting concept that works but simply lacks in variety. Couple this with a steep learning curve once the opening niceties become distant fairly quickly and you’ve got an unforgiving game that’s cause for frustration more than anything. If you like to be challenged then sure there’s something to be gained here, but if you’re lacking in patience then for any sort of prolonged play this doesn’t have the legs. What might have worked well on mobile devices as a quick fix burst of inertia based puzzle solving doesn’t translate so well to sit down and play on a console in the home.

Score 5/10

Review code supplied by Microsoft Xbox.

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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