Motorama is a very well-produced motorcycle trials game by Januar Tanzil. Physically, it falls somewhere between Elasto Mania and Trials in terms of the fidelity of the simulation, but more on that in a sec. Motorama’s website describes the game as follows (the author is Indonesian, hence the odd English):
Unlike racing simulations, Motorama is features puzzle like gameplay, where deciding where you give it the gas and how to position your landing creates the best strategy to reach the finish line in the fastest time possible.
I’ll be blunt: I don’t like the physics in Motorama. They’re far too firm; there’s no sense of a suspension system whatsoever. I’m not quite sure what’s going on behind the scenes, but rather than behaving like a spring-mass system the bike and its wheels behave extremely rigidly. The bike’s impacts have no give to them. The wheels bounce off the terrain like two granite boulders.
Also, the rider appears to have no impact on the physics system. His position doesn’t affect the balance of the bike, and his motion doesn’t feed back into the physics system. In other physics motorcycle games, like Trials, the rider’s physics will actually dampen the bike’s motion.
Motorama is hard. Not that good kind of hard, either. The game feels more like a beat down than a surmountable challenge. The difficulty stems primarily from the game’s physics. It’s difficult to predict the bike’s behavior, and it’s too easy to experience sudden changes in movement (particularly due to the heavily polygonal terrain). Subtle variations in speed and angle will have dramatic consequences. The physics feels very intolerant.
The controls could also be improved. Currently, the boost is activated by a double-tap of the acceleration key. I would much rather have boost controlled by a second key so I could tap it at will. Right now, you can’t exactly tap boost on and off–if you tap acceleration three times it’s going to keep boosting (assuming the last two taps were for another boost, I guess). It’s too hard to control your speed.
But, So Pretty!
I really want to like Motorama. It’s a beautifully produced game. The graphics are lush, the levels are varied and numerous, and it’s full of polished little touches like particles, an animated day/night cycle, and well-made audio.
Sadly, the game is more frustrating than fun. The physics just aren’t there. I don’t know much about the game’s development, but I get the feeling Motorama was isolated from player testing and feedback during its creation. The developer probably ratcheted up the difficulty until it was hard for him, which leaves the rest of us out in the cold.
Download Motorama Game (11.5 MB)
The above download link is a free demo of Motorama. The full version is $19.95.