Review: Mobirate Motogear

Today I want to make a game suggestion for the summer holidays. Motogear is a game created by Mobirate. Mobirate doesn’t have any news posted on their website since August 2007 and Motogear has had it’s last update in April 2006 so there’s a good chance you won’t have to expect anything new in the future, but Motogear is a game you can spend a LOT of time on anyway. This article is not intended as a review for commercial purposes but I’ve been playing this game so much lately that I want others to know about it as well.

Motogear is the mobile version of Elastomania and is a motorbike simulation game. You, as the biker, are instructed to reach the goal (the finish flag) and pick up any gear icons along the way (if there are any). You need to avoid the spikes and manouvre your way across/over/through the sometimes very challenging landscape.

Only the two wheels of the bike and the bikers head interact with their surroundings, so if you touch a spike with any of these you die, and if you touch the floor or the wall with your head you die as well. Gathering the gear icons and touching the finish must be done with the wheels or the biker’s head as well.

Main screen and Options

From the main screen, you can start the game but we’ll skip that for a little while and start with the Options. You can choose to draw clouds in the sky and draw other objects in the landscape. Turn these off to have a less cluttered view and maybe a bit speedier gameplay. However, since the game is a few years old already I don’t find that changing these settings impact my gameplay in any other way that providing some graphical extra’s.

Sounds can be enabled and as always it is disabled for me. The Level skin is quite fun, because it lets you complete change the theme of the game. By default you are a biker in a normal environment, but you can change this to ride in a nuclear area and even as Santa Claus in a polar area. The actual levels stay the same, they just look completely different.

If you enable Practice mode, you can touch the walls and floor with your head. This makes it easier to find your way through a level and get to know where all the objects are, but of course this is not the mode you should play in when you seriously want to play your way through the levels.

From the Options screen you can continue to customize the keys with which you play. Here you immediately see that there are only a few controls: throttle and break, rotate left and right (actually these are: rotate clockwise and rotate counter-clockwise), and flip the player (this will switch the front and end of the bike so that the front wheel becomes the back wheel). Finally there is a Pause button.

  

Next up in the main screen is the Player section. You can create additional player accounts so that your friends can play the game as well, or you can just create a new account to replay and unlock all the levels all over again. A problem here is that you cannot remove an account so don’t create too many. You can register online on motogear.mobirate.com to post your highscores but I never care about such features so I didn’t try this. Those highscores are also available from the Main screen (“Best Bikers”) and so are the replays you save after finishing a level (you can record it and watch it later). I don’t spend any time on these extra’s because the game itself is too addicting.

Finally there is also some documentation built in so that you can read the necessary information without the need of some online help manual.

 

Start Game

Pressing the Start Game button is what you’ll want to do after setting up the Options to your liking. Here you can pick a level pack and start a level. There are three level packs included, offering well over 100 levels. But the best part is that Elastomania levels are also supported by Motogear! This means that the hundreds (thousands!) of custom levels that are designed by Elastomania players, can be imported to Motogear so that you will never run out of new levels for this game. (Well technically you could, but you’d need to give up your day job to play Motogear THAT much I think). A good place to start looking for custom levels is here. If you add up all numbers on that page there should be around 40,000 custom levels available on the sites linked from there. To import the custom levels you can use the Motogear Utility, or you can create custom levels yourself using the advanced level editor, both available here. However, you can also simply create a “Maps” folder in the Motogear installation folder and copy/paste your custom levels to that folder.

Anyway, back to Motogear. After selecting the level pack, you’ll get to a list of levels. Only the levels you’ve unlocked are displayed (except for the custom user levels, they are all unlocked right from the start). You need to finish a level to unlock the next level. However, there is a also a “Skip” button that you can press after losing a life. When you skip a level you just start the next one, and you can come back to finish a previous level at any time. You can skip a total of five levels, so once you’ve done that you need to go back and finish an older unfinished level in order to get another “Skip”. There are a few very hard levels in the included packs so while you should be able to get to the end of each pack after enough playing, don’t expect to finish it all without having skipped a small handful of levels. Unfinished levels are indicated with an (X) after the name so they are easily identifiable.

Playing the game

Well actually there’s not a lot to tell here. You know the controls that can be used, you know the goals you need to meet. Apart from that you’d need to download a trial and check out the levels. Here’s just one example of an obstacle you need to get across.

  

At the bottom there is a small representation of the level so that you can see where the gear icons are (red dots) and where the finish is (one of the two green dots: one is you, the other is the finish). The previous level is rather easy and can be finished with only a few tries. The one below is a lot more trickier though. At the left you see in the minimap that you need to get two gear icons and then get to the finish in the small gap in the bottom right. There are several hard objectives here. The first jump to get the first gear icon is though already but it can’t be captured on a single screenshot. I’ve decided to show you the second gear icon (the second screenshot). You need to ride on your back wheel and get your front wheel over the obstacle to the left. Then your front wheel needs to lower but not too much because that will cause you to hit the spikes. While doing this manouvre you need to keep your balance: if you fall backwards and land on your head you need to start again. After getting the two gear icons you need to make your way back to the center of the level and fall through the gap to the finish. However, this gaps gets more and more narrow, and it will not be easy to keep your balance. Very often one wheel is a bit below the other, or you’re not falling straight down. If this happens, you’ll turn and your head will hit the wall either on the left or on the right.

 

I suggest you give this game a try. You might not like the genre at all, that’s fine. However, if you like the stunts combined with the precise movement and balance, this is a game that can easily be expanded upon by adding the numerous available levels.

Game information

The product page of Mobirate Motogear is here.
Download a trial or the level editor/utility here.
The current version is 1.40 and I don’t expect any updates.
Motogear costs $ 9,95 directly from Mobirate. However, it’s just $ 4,95 from Clickgamer here.
Honesly I think $ 4,95 is almost nothing when you realize how many levels can be added for free after just downloading them from one of the Elastomania level sites. Motogear is a great game, but a key part of why I like it so much is that it can be expanded with more levels than I can probably handle.

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