Classic for communicators and PDAs. Mini-Sportbike

Developer: OmniG Software Genre: motorcycle racing simulator Current version: 1.1 Supported OS: Pocket PC 2000/2002, Windows Mobile 2003/2003SE/5.0 Pocket PC size: 2.7 Mb Manufacturer website: Distribution type : Shareware, $17.95

We decided to dedicate this issue of "Classics for Communicators" to a mobile game of a rather specific genre - a motorcycle racing simulator. Motorcycle racing is significantly different from the same car simulators: a different physical model, more difficult to manage, cross-country racing or specially equipped tracks in various picturesque corners of the planet, dizzying jumps, the roar of engines - all this should be felt by the player. Let's see if the Pocket PC can at least approximate the atmosphere of biker competition and wipe the nose of the competing Symbian platform, where the MotoGP series has long flourished.

In installing Mini-Sportbike, there is one peculiarity: the game behaves very strangely when installed on a memory card. There are periodic fading that unnerves the player. Moreover, this effect manifested itself on three different devices with different memory cards. So I recommend installing the Mini-Sportbike in the main memory.

After starting the game, we will see a splash screen with a dashing motorcyclist, which, after pressing any button, will change to the game menu. There are five items in the game menu - two game modes Superbike and Motocross, as well as Settings, Help and Exit. The menu is beautifully animated, with a voluminous motorcyclist periodically sweeping across the screen.

The first menu item "Superbike" allows you to race on specially equipped tracks where powerful motorcycles can reach high speed. There are settings for the player's name, motorcycle color, turning on / off the musical accompaniment and, of course, the choice of the track. A wide variety of tracks are available in various countries - the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Russia, Tanzania and China. Each track is made in an individual style that tries to convey the spirit of a particular country. Moreover, depending on the route, not only the background changes, but also three-dimensional objects. For example, flower plantations are planted along the highway in the Netherlands, it's a pity that there are no evil farmers on the road. So the player is not in danger of getting bored from the lack of various places for racing. It should be noted that all the tracks in the game are circular, and you will have to complete several laps to win.

The second game mode is "Motocross". In this mode, racing is conducted on rough terrain, motorcycles are lighter and accelerate worse. The whole game in this mode is a chain of endless climbs, jumps and successful / unsuccessful landings. The game will not let you completely crash or fly off the track, but as a result of an inept landing, you will significantly lose speed, and your opponents will be far ahead. Several tracks are also available in this mode: tundra, oasis, autumn forest, winter terrain and mountains. An interesting feature of the Motocross mode is the ability to cut corners on the tracks. If you accelerate well, in some places you can fly over the track fence and rush straight ahead without losing speed when maneuvering. After a thorough search, I was able to find three such places on various tracks, but I suspect that there are more such places. So carefully examine the tracks, computer opponents never use these "guerrilla" tracks.

It's just a pity that the game does not have the ability to choose motorcycles, only one model is available for each game mode, here the developers obviously did not have enough imagination. However, this unfortunate fact can be corrected on their own. In the game directory at \MiniSportsbike1.1\resources\vehicle, models of your motorcycles are available in the form of textures and 3D Studio Max files. So no one is stopping you from turning unnamed in-game motorcycles into your own Ural with your numbers and racing it.

Among the game settings available in the "Settings" menu are mute, game window size (I recommend using Small Window mode on weaker devices), GAPI settings, screen orientation (right-handed or left-handed), and control sensitivity. Strange, but the control settings themselves were not found in the game. This is a noticeable drawback of the game, because, for example, it is not very convenient to throttle with a joystick, I would like to use one of the application shortcut keys for this purpose, assigning it yourself, depending on the features of the communicator.

After selecting the desired race mode and track, you can either start the game or watch a demo on "how to drive on this track correctly." In addition to the spectacular moments, this mode also helps to determine the optimal speed for each turn on the track, which will later help lead your rider to victory.

To start a race, select "Race now". After that, an indicator will appear showing the progress of the game loading. It is noteworthy that at this moment the screen orientation changes from portrait to landscape. On older devices with slow processors, it may take 20-30 seconds to load.

And finally, the game screen is in front of us. A traffic light is displayed at the top of the game screen, on the green signal of which the race begins. I recommend that you start pressing the gas button even at the red traffic light, so you definitely do not miss the moment of start. At the bottom of the screen, important parameters such as the number of the current lap, the total race time and the speed of your motorcycle are displayed. The track map is displayed in the lower right corner, showing the current positions of your bike and those of your rivals. The map will also warn you of sharp turns and bends in the track, so remember to keep your eyes on it, it will be easier to fit into the next turn.

The graphics in the Mini-Sportbike are nice enough for a mobile game. Despite some angularity of 1-3 Month Male Purebred Lhasa Apso models of motorcycles and objects along the track, the picture given by the game is practically not inferior to computer games of the late 90s. The work of the animators is also felt, for example, when the motorcycle stops, the motorcyclist proudly puts his boot on the ground. The clouds of dust escaping from under the wheels of your “iron horse” also look good, the shadow of the motorcycle runs along the ground. True, the posters along the track could have been more diverse - they are mainly advertisements for OmniG Software games and mobile phones.

Sound. On the one hand, this component of the game pleases. Beautiful, well-chosen melodies, individual for each track, add excitement, forcing you to press the gas button even harder and giving the game a real “drive”, which is so rare in mobile games. On the other hand, where is this very roar of the engine that the player’s motorcycle should emit? Unfortunately, it just doesn't exist. Of course, this can hardly be called a serious flaw, but the overall impression of the game slightly spoils.

Management. Inconvenient control is the scourge of all mobile games. In the Mini-Sportbike, this seems to be all right, however, the inability to reassign control can cause a storm of discontent among the owners of communicators, because the application shortcut keys are located differently, so the gas function rigidly assigned to Button1 can become a problem that will have to be solved using additional programs.

Gameplay. Not a very well-worn motorcycle racing theme and a good physical model for a mobile game allow you to spend a lot of free time on the Mini-Sportbike. Something forces you to keep playing the game until all opponents on all tracks have been defeated. However, the replay value of Mini-Sporbike is quite low - with the last victory, you will most likely delete the game permanently.

Among the shortcomings of the game, in addition to the lack of control settings, I would also note that in the Mini-Sportbike you cannot fight over the network, which is especially strange, given that the same Mini-Dogfight had such an opportunity.

To summarize. Mini-Sportbike is a solid simulator with good graphics and great music. It is definitely recommended for all fans of motorcycle racing, but for the rest I advise you to at least download the demo version.

The game was tested on Hewlett-Packard iPaq 2210, Mio DigiWalker A701 and Fujitsu-Siemens Loox N520