Over the past couple of years, Aspyr has built a collection of extreme-sports games that includes skateboarding, surfing, and wakeboarding. It’s now added motocross racing to the mix with MTX: Mototrax, a great game that puts you behind the handlebars of an off-road dirt bike as you race the pros and perform stunts.
Like most games in this genre, MTX: Mototrax lets you create a custom rider – defining your physical features as well as your equipment – and then gives you a choice between two game paths: Career mode and Freestyle mode. In Career mode you’ll move up through different motocross disciplines, developing skills, unlocking new tracks, earning money and sponsorships, and developing alliances with new motocross racing teams. Win enough races, and you can upgrade to a more powerful bike. You can also compete against as many as seven online opponents.
You can test your skills at different types of events, including motocross races, which happen at large outdoor tracks filled with winding trails spread over varied terrain; supercross races, which take place inside stadia and require that you exercise more skill in turning tight corners and hitting jumps; and freestyle events, which focus specifically on your ability to perform tricks in rapid succession. Freestyle events are essentially the motorcycle equivalent of a skate-park half-pipe; you have a series of goals to complete in a specific amount of time – such as getting enough air on your jumps to hit floating hoops. Some of these sequences, however, are challenging to the point of frustration.
In the game’s Freestyle mode, you can forego racing entirely and instead focus on developing tricks. Difficult and more-creative tricks will earn extra points.
The game includes an integrated track editor, which lets you create supercross courses inside an arena – it’s a bit like assembling a Scalextric track. But while the editor has a good collection of track pieces, your design possibilities are ultimately limited by space constraints.
One of the game’s most surprising features is its price. MTX: Mototrax is debuting for under £30. This makes the game less expensive than some shareware games, with much better production quality.
Motocross is a novelty on the Mac. And MTX: Mototrax is a solid introduction to the genre. If you’re looking for a different kind of racing game, MTX: Mototrax merits a look.