When I first saw Urban Trial Tricky announced my excitement peaked to see something similar to the world-famous Trials emerging onto the scene. Immediately afterwards my heart sunk as I learned it was to be a Nintendo Switch exclusive at the time. Just over a year later and here we are, the game is now available for the Xbox family of consoles. Imagine chucking a few of the most popular Trials titles and a Tony hawk game into a blender, the end product would be Urban Trial Tricky. Tate Multimedia are the developers and publisher of this mish-mash of an experience and they are no stranger to this genre. Back in 2013 they worked on and released Urban Trial Freestyle which launches on a range of devices. Sadly it never saw the light of day on the Xbox despite reviews singing the praises of the game.
Is it wheely fun?
There are three separate modes here in Urban Trial Tricky, but first, you play out a few tutorial levels. These teach you the basics of handling your motorcycle and how to perform the various tricks expected of you. Once you move onto the different modes, the premise is very simple with all of them. Tricks are the first experience you’ll come across. Here you’ll be tasked to perform as many stunts as possible whilst retaining a combo for maximum points. Timed is exactly what it states, complete the course as quickly as possible and aim to beat the dev’s result. Competition is very similar to the tricks mode, except this time you’ll have to mimic the stunts displayed on the screen as the game prompts you.
All of these levels and modes have extra objectives and ticking each one off grants you a star. The more stars you collect, the more likely you are to unlock the next levels. It provides you with a real incentive to master each level to attempt to unlock absolutely everything on offer. This extends to cosmetics for your rider, this could be skins and costumes. You may want to dress in normal attire or go out on the bike as a banana, or a hot dog. Failing that Xbox Era’s very own Shpeshal Nicks favourite the “Shrimpster”, sorry Nick it had to be done!
How does it all handle?
Now you may be like I am with games in this genre, I literally button mash and hope for the best. There is an element of skill involved here though. Inviting the ability to chain together combos makes for really addictive and tense gameplay. The physics are silky smooth and didn’t seem as rigid as games I have played in the Trials series. The developers somehow made it feel like you had flexibility with both your bike and character. Chaining together large combos and only just landing the wheels on the ground at the end of one made it super satisfying and rewarding. The only criticism I would add is that some of the levels are a little compact and felt limited in terms of space. In turn, this made it a further challenge to hit the checklist of objectives in tighter areas.
Does it do the job visually?
Tate Multimedia has opted for cartoon-style visuals here. This works really well for what is essentially a super casual title best played in short bursts. I was really impressed with the simplistic menu design with clear and concise easy to follow options. The game physics blend in well with the vibrant colours on offer against nicely constructed courses. Whilst I was pleased that there is plenty to unlock throughout the game, it would have been nice to see more than the one character model on offer. Customization is the key to the fun here. Changing appearance, the style, and colour of your bike, and even smoke effects.
Sound effects are equally as well presented as the graphics here. The character voicing brings some personality by chanting as he performs stunts. Music is mellow and laid back but with just enough beat to keep the adrenalin going. The art style and audio go hand in hand. Urban Trial Tricky runs silky smooth in comparison to the Nintendo version, especially on Xbox Series X. Not a visual dip or bug in sight here, which is always fantastic to see with a game with so much happening on screen.
Is there anything else to do?
I was disheartened to learn that there is no form of multiplayer on offer in Urban Trial Tricky. I found this a strange decision since Urban Trial Playground could have a second player featuring. Online multiplayer would have added real longevity and replayability here. Even if it was for a score attack mode where real-life players competed for the best scores. Working your way through the 30 levels on offer will take a good few hours but I was left asking myself whether it was worth replaying beyond this. For the perfectionists out there, it may take you longer to score every objective and unlock every cosmetic imbedded. Leaderboards do feature for the fans of statistics if you are a sucker for attempting to gain high scores then this could be right up your street.
Urban Trial Tricky is a beautifully presented fun experience that offers a short but sweet playthrough in terms of content. Whilst I was disappointed at its lack of multiplayer presence, I still had hours of fun with the game. The real draw-in factor is the ability to unlock levels based on how well you perform. This along with plenty of extra cosmetic gear to purchase with in-game currency. It would be great to see more levels added to the game in the future as a DLC add-on or even the addition of a multiplayer mode. For the price point though, Urban Trial Tricky is worth a purchase for fans of games in this genre.