MotoHeroz was originally a game released as part of the WiiWare service on the Nintendo Wii, the console that started the idea of motion controlled games. I always found it weird that with a controller that was all about motion control, MotoHeroz never utilised that and instead went with the physical buttons for control.
Unfortunately, developer Ubisoft still refuses to alter that aspect when porting the game to touchscreen Android devices with a built-in accelerometer for similar motion-controlled gaming. And therein lies MotoHeroz’s biggest flaw.
Just Another Platform Racer
This is a physics platform racer much like many, many others on Android, such as Top Truck or Stick Stunt Biker 2. Your vehicle can accelerate and reverse, as well as shift its weight backwards or forwards. Using the laws of physics, you have to manoeuvre across crazy tracks to get to the finish line, collecting coins along the way. And yeah, there’s also treasure hidden in each level, if you can find it! There are also power-up items you can activate to get past obstacles, such as jet packs to fly over them.
You are also racing against “ghosts” — set records that determine whether you get 1, 2 or 3 stars depending on the amount of time you finish the track in. These ghosts are a good way to learn the best way across a track, and then use that knowledge to beat them to the finish line.
There is no limit to the number of times you can play a track, but you will have to finish each one to move on to the next. As you progress, you will come across different environments and cars, which you can upgrade with the coins that you earn.
Ubisoft has done a fantastic job with the graphics and the car design, making each world feel different with its unique style. But things fall flat on the sound front, where there’s not even a background score to keep your adrenaline pumping through a race. Ugh!
Weirdly, the game has on-screen controls for everything. The accelerate and reverse buttons are at your right thumb while the weight shift keys are at the left thumb. It’s unfathomable for me why I would need keys to shift the weight of my car on a phone with an accelerometer, especially when the whole point of the game is how well you balance the car to get to the finish line.
Tilting the phone does nothing, absolutely nothing. The least Ubisoft could have done was to include an option for gamers to choose whether they want to use the device’s motion control or on-screen controls, but there’s no such choice offered. Even basic games by one-man developers offer this, but not MotoHeroz, from a reputed game dev.
And without the tilt-shift, it’s a lifeless game. I can see the joy of using this if I’m jerking my phone violently to get the car’s weight distribution right, landing perfectly on a downhill slope to gather speed. But doing the same thing with two virtual controls and no feedback? Go back to the drawing board, Ubisoft, you’re embarrassing us all here.
Controls and sound apart, the game’s all right. But given how many better options there are out there, you don’t need to waste your time on MotoHeroz.