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Max Awesome

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

Not quite Excitebike

Product: Max Awesome | Developer: Rebel Crew | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade, Sports | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 44.0MB
 
Max Awesome iPhone, thumbnail 1
Videos of extreme motorcycle stunts usually follow a certain trajectory. They start off flashy, and you think - for a split second - that the stunt will succeed.

Then something goes awry and both the rider and your expectations come crashing down to earth.

Unfortunately, Max Awesome follows this same trajectory. It aims for tongue-in-cheek brashness and fun, but falls short and lands, painfully, on a figurative double-decker bus.

Hit the throttle

Everything about Max Awesome is bold, bright, and cartoonish from the outset. The main character sports a gravity-defying pompadour that would be the envy of any anime character. Your goal is to earn 'Awesomes' - the official currency of the game - by clearing levels with exceptional times and scores.

After revving up this enjoyably silly presentation, Max Awesome gets down to business with touchscreen controls: 'forward' and 'reverse' arrows appear on the right of the screen, while the left side has a 'duck/jump' button as well as buttons for executing frontflips and backflips.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this all looks and sounds familiar. Max Awesome borrows quite heavily from both Bike Baron and, more blatantly, Joe Danger, without capturing the essence of what made either game fun.

Ramping it up

From the very first level onwards, it's plain that there are some problems with the controls and game engine that Max Awesome is built on. Almost everything in the controls feels stiff, and there's a noticeable lack of fluidity in the strings of moves that you tell Max to execute.

Compounding this problem is a rather indecisive physics engine that can’t seem to make up its mind what planet this game is taking place on. Certain ramp jumps will catapult your bike skyward in one level and barely register as a bump in the next.

Annoying at first, this physics quirk becomes positively frustrating when the game tasks you with hitting targets that hover over jumps, launch platforms, and ramps. What should be a simple matter of timing a jump properly becomes an exercise in patience as you wait for the game's physics engine to figure out what it's doing.

The crowd goes mild


Unlike the Pocket Gamer Silver Award-winning Bike Baron, Max Awesome never really hits its stride. The graphics are blocky and subpar compared with other bike titles on the App Store, and the controls are rigid at best.

Both of these factors make it difficult to recommend Max Awesome to any but the most devoted of stunt bike game enthusiasts - especially when there are better options available on the App Store.
 
Max Awesome
Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener | 23 November 2012
A fun if familiar concept that is hamstrung by wonky controls. Might be more fun following a round or two of updates
 
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