Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Great-Looking Motorcycle Game, But Is It Fun?

Tuesday, June 13th, 2006 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 115 votes, average: 2.90 out of 5)

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.

Physics: Ugh

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.

Masochistic Difficulty

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.

Motorama Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Motorama Game Screenshots)

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.

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12 Responses to 'Great-Looking Motorcycle Game, But Is It Fun?'

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  1. Demetrius said,

    on June 14th, 2006 at 1:23 am

    Really nice review! Not all games can be good, it’s nice that you review some of the less good ones. Keep up the good work!

  2. Spydevil said,

    on June 14th, 2006 at 2:38 am

    Why my computer restarts after few seconds after launching this game?? can someone help?

  3. Dosou said,

    on June 14th, 2006 at 10:57 am

    I agree fully with Demetrius! I would like this game if it just had a better physics engine, but sadly it doesn’t. This game IS beautiful but nothing can make up for that horrible engine.

  4. Wunderbear said,

    on June 14th, 2006 at 11:27 am

    To Spydevil,

    Do you know the temp your computer’s running at? That can occasionally have an effect if it’s too high.

    Anyway; It does look a LOT like Elastomania (Which is nuts), so I may give it a try.

  5. Dosou said,

    on June 15th, 2006 at 1:22 pm

    Also, one small question.
    What is the music that plays during the Operation Cleaner 2 video?

  6. Matthew said,

    on June 15th, 2006 at 1:30 pm


    Mophono – Live Human Break 7

  7. on June 15th, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    wow this game is soo bad it may have been a little fun if the rider after you crashed didnt fall thru the level like in a mario game i thing this game is not worthy of the honer of takeing up space on this site

  8. Alejo said,

    on June 16th, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    This game sucks =(

  9. Gmod_User said,

    on June 16th, 2006 at 7:01 pm

    You are right Alejo… :(

  10. creath said,

    on June 16th, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Such unintended hilarity. After watching the quick clip in the review it seems the day/night cycle of this game just exemplifies the rediculousness of how many attempts it takes to pass a partciular stage. Your cut from afternoon to nighttime where you are still trying to make the same jump at the end is a dark comedy that doesn’t encourage anyone to try this out. Heheh.

  11. on June 20th, 2006 at 10:20 am

    What about Xmoto ? Open Source, multi-plateforme, fully physical !

  12. zackattack said,

    on November 17th, 2006 at 9:06 am

    i don’t understand what some of you are saying. i loved this game, but i don’t know if i’ll buy it for $19.95 thats too much. this game has a lot in it, but i don’t know about enough for paying 20 bucks.

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