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Urban Trial Freestyle

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone, 3DS, PS Vita

Trial run

Product: Urban Trial Freestyle | Developer: Tate Interactive | Publisher: Tate Interactive | Format: iPad | Genre: Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Urban Trial Freestyle iPad, thumbnail 1
Urban Trial Freestyle feels a lot more like Trials than Trials Frontier ever did. It's a more complex beast, and demands concentration at every jump, lump, and obstacle.

But it's not without its problems. The controls are a little slippy when they need to be sharp, and the graphics aren't quite so great when you give them a closer look.

It's hard too. Sometimes too hard. It hurls obstacles at you that only the preternaturally talented will be able to dodge, and after the first eight or so levels the difficulty ramps up even further.

Glitches here and there spoil the experience as well. One time a level sort of collapsed, leaving me trapped at a checkpoint.

There's still fun to be had here, but it's tempered by some sloppiness. If you're looking for a portable motorsport platformer that keeps that hardcore edge the genre is famed for, it's a decent bet.

Leap of faith

You play a man on a bike confronted by a series of ramps, collapsing city scenery, and crates. You can't just power over these lumps and bumps though, you need to perfect your balance as well.

You do this with a slider in the bottom left of the screen. It's a little confusing to start with because you try to use it like a D-pad, and that really doesn't work.

Once you realise you need to shift the slider from side to side things become a little easier. A bunch of buttons clustered around the bottom right of the screen control your speed.

There are tilt controls that are a little cleaner, but they're not perfect either, especially when things get more difficult later on.


Each level gives you a time limit and as many chances as you can use to get to the end. There are checkpoints throughout, but you lose all your progress if the timer runs out.

Some of the stretches of road and ruin you're tearing down are truly impressive. Freeways collapse, crates swing, planks slip loose their moorings and leave you plummeting in mid air.

They're certainly interesting to behold, but they're not always that interesting to play. Things collapse and tumble, but often you'll just ride into them, unable to react quickly enough to stay alive.

There are some nice ideas elsewhere though. Various challenges are scattered through the levels. These green lines let you take on your friends to see who can jump the highest or the furthest.

A weighty track builder lets you create your own trials and share them with friends. It's a neat touch, and if you're willing to put the time in you'll be able to create some impressive levels.

Not a trial

Leaderboards let you keep track of who you're faster than as well. You can upgrade and tweak your motorbike, making it faster and easier to control.

The whole think feels pretty solid, but there are cracks here and there that spoil the experience slightly. The shadows are blocky, there are glitches that force restarts, and those controls could do to be a little smoother.

There's a decent chunk of game here though, and when you're flying through a level, navigating the tough slopes and tricky jumps, it's a lot of fun.

Urban Trial Freestyle is an enjoyable game. It stumbles sometimes, but it's usually sure-footed enough to keep you playing.
Urban Trial Freestyle
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 11 July 2014
It's not perfect, but Urban Trial Freestyle is tight enough most of the time to be worth a look
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