Some of the hidden gems of the indie games catalogue make perfect sense to me why they’re little known games. Others totally mystify me. “MXHD” in the latter category. It looks good, it controls well, it’s received post-release support, it’s in a venerable (but not overcrowded) genre, it has decent physics, decent music, and it doesn’t do any of the unforgiveable things that many racing games do.
Unforgiveable things, you say? Chiefly, it doesn’t appear to use catch-up AI that makes early success (or, for that matter, early failure) in a race utterly irrelevant. For those who don’t know, catch-up AI lobotomises the AI racers if they get the lead, and turns them into Ayrton Senna if you (the human player) takes the lead.
The game also lets you do tricks. Tricks here are just for show, they don’t seem to significantly enhance your race. And perhaps that’s part of why MXHD has languished for nearly two years without the press it deserves. Perhaps people expected something like Trials HD, a tricks-focused experience, whereas in truth you’re getting something more like MX Vs. ATV, a racing-focused experience. Perhaps the original $3 price tag was a disincentive; the price is now $1, but this game looks and plays well enough that it was worth more, IMO. Ultimately, I recommend racing fans download it.
Perhaps the game suffered
Here’s what the developer (JSTARLAB) has to say about the game:
“Motocross High Definition. Race your dirtbike against 3 computer controlled bikes on 5 different racetracks. The bike handling is amazing with the bike power-sliding in turns and the suspensions absorbing every bump on the track. Many stunts allowed including back flip, front flip and many more. Impressive crashes. Controllable camera. Original Soundtrack.”