The Bottom Line
- All 18 circuits and 17 riders from MotoGP's 2010 season are playable
- Tracks are (relatively) accurately rendered
- Addictive enough to keep you coming back for more
- Not all tracks are initially unlocked unless you play in Championship Mode
- Bike dynamics get a bit cartoonish at the limit
- Wouldn't you rather be riding for real?
- Platform: Apple iPhone, iPod Touch
- Size: 59 megabytes
- Manufacturer: I-play
- Controls: "Boost," brakes, tilt-sensitive turning
- Views: Wide, or rider POV
- Price: $3.99
Guide Review - Video Game Review: MotoGP 2010 for iPhone and iPod Touch
MotoGP 2010 is a new app for the iPhone and iPod Touch priced at $3.99 that recreates all 17 riders and 18 tracks from this year's season. After a slick intro sequence (which can be skipped by tapping the touchscreen), Quick Play drops you onto the starting grid of a race (but locks out most of the circuits), while Championship mode allows you to progress through the entire 2010 season: iconic tracks like Le Mans, Mugello, and Laguna Seca are faithfully reproduced, as are bike and gear liveries-- though rough-edged graphics don't take full advantage of the iPhone 4's stunning screen.
Game dynamics are simple: you can choose to qualify for each race, or skip that step and start at the back of the grid. The bike automatically accelerates, though touching the right side of the screen activates a "boost" function which produces temporary surges of power. But you can't just boost your way through every straightaway; the feature must be used judiciously in order to avoid a potentially slowing overboost situation. Tapping the left side of the screen applies the brakes, and tilting the iPhone or iPod Touch causes your bike to lean and turn. Two views offer wide or POV angles, and the latter fills the screen with a more involving perspective that convincingly depicts speed. Sound can be faded between bike noises and built-in music, and the game can also link to your iTunes library for a personalized soundtrack stream.
Experiencing each track and its unique layouts is a strong draw, though purists might scoff at the way the bikes spin off course when entry speeds are too high or brakes are overused mid-corner. The game certainly slants more towards the "Arcade" mode in the PC version of the game; though lean angles appear to correspond roughly to grip levels, there's a cartoonishness to the overall dynamic that's a strong reminder of the fact that that you're playing on a small handheld device, not a fully fledged desktop system.
After stepping into Ben Spies' virtual boots and riding through most of the 2010 season, I got to the Aragon track (the 13th of the 18 tracks) before returning my borrowed iPhone. The fact that I got that far was testimony to the addictive quality of the game, especially considering what awaited in the garage.
Most motorcyclists probably don't enjoy spending their spare time fiddling with a video game, but MotoGP 2010 offers an addictive-- if somewhat unrealistic-- way to go racing without putting on your leathers. It's certainly not as intoxicating as the real thing (then again, what is?), but MotoGP 2010 does manage to be an inexpensive and fun way to wile away a few hours when you're away from the saddle.