A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Trials Evolution is a motorcycle racing and stunt game with some violence in the form of spectacular motorcycle wipeouts. Crashes range from small but authentic (like a rider falling backwards and tumbling down a slope in realistic rag-doll fashion) to the wildly fantastical (explosions can send motorcyclists soaring hundreds of yards through the air). There is no blood or gore, and riders instantly respawn atop their bikes. Parents should also be aware that this game supports open chat-enabled multiplayer.
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What's it about?
In TRIALS HD, a downloadable game available exclusively through Xbox Live Arcade, players drive motorbikes through fantastical stunt courses as quickly as possible. The bikes move through realistic-looking three-dimensional worlds ranging from war zones to sewage systems, but their movement is restricted to a two-dimensional plane. That means there's no steering. Players simply control throttle and braking and shift their rider's weight forward and back. A realistic physics system (or at least realistic for a world in which you can move only left and right) combined with a rag-doll effect when players crash creates some very painful looking wipeouts. Even if players happen to survive a race unscathed, their rider will likely suffer some form of accident -- like a heap of giant logs falling onto their bike, or an explosion that sends him flying almost all the way back to the start line. Plenty of mini-games, a simple-to-use custom track creator, and support for online play for up to four racers give players plenty of reason to keep playing even after they finish the lengthy and challenging career mode.
Is it any good?
Trials HD is an agreeably simple and accessible game that just about anyone can pick up in a matter of minutes. However, there’s also a satisfying level of challenge found in its later races, which will prove daunting even for veteran gamers. If you get stuck you can always jump over to the quick and fun mini-games (like racing as far as you can with limited gas) or hop online for some lightning quick Excitebike-style fun.
But the heart of Trials Evolution is its authentic physics and over-the-top antics. The bikes players drive have a great feel, and act just as you'd expect they would in the real world while climbing steep slopes and jumping giant chasms. Some imaginative obstacles -- think water jets and land mines -- create laugh-out-loud moments, sending the game's hapless motorcyclists tumbling through the air. There aren't many more instantly accessible and bountifully entertaining games on Xbox Live Arcade.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media. Do games need swords or guns to be considered violent? Do players need enemies to attack in order for a game to be aggressive? Do you think Trials Evolution is violent?
Families can also discuss driving safety. Compare what players can do in games with what is safe and legal in the real world. What sorts of consequences arise from dangerous driving?
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Math: estimation, geometry, shapes
Science: gravity, momentum, physics
- Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation
Self-Direction: achieving goals, initiative, set objectives
Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
- Price: $15.00
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Microsoft
- Release date: April 19, 2012
- Genre: Racing
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Violence
For kids who love fast action
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