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 Fusion: The Awesome Max Edition is a downloadable racer that's an expanded version of the previously released driving puzzle game Trials Fusion. The game has you riding a dirt bike or an ATV through a side-scrolling obstacle course full of jumps, physics puzzles, collapsing roadways, and other hazards -- all of which you navigate by hitting the gas or brake at the right time and by leaning forward or backward in your seat. Controls are easy to learn, although gameplay gets much harder as levels proceed. Though your driver will go splat (a lot), there's no blood, no sound of breaking bones, and no other indication of just how hurt he may have gotten. (Still, don't try this at home.) There's only one instance of sexually inappropriate commentary, which is phrased as an accident by the computerized training program. Players also can purchase new vehicles and customizable options either with in-game currency or real cash.
What's it about?
TRIALS FUSION: THE AWESOME MAX EDITION is all about getting from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible and, as such, doesn't have a story. Instead, it has lots of challenge, as the game tasks with you with driving a dirt bike or all-terrain vehicle through a series of increasingly complex (and, in some case, physically impossible) obstacle courses. Which you do by using just the right amount of gas and by leaning forward and backward on your bike or ATV -- or unicorn, as the case may be. The Awesome Max part lets you play as a Second Amendment-loving feline on the back of a purple-haired unicorn who breathes fire.
Is it any good?
As with the original, Trials Fusion: The Awesome Max Edition is an addictive puzzle-infused driving game that will challenge your reflexes and ability to solve problems by making you drive inventive, sadistic obstacle courses on a dirt bike or an ATV. But what makes it better than the original is it includes all the new tracks, bikes, and other fun stuff they've added to the original game over the last few months, as well as 22 new tracks -- eleven of which were devised by fans -- as well as the ability to play the game as a pistol-packing cat on a fire-breathing unicorn with purple hair. The game also lets you compete against friends. Though by "compete," we really just mean "compare your scores," which is why this game's multiplayer modes are a bit unnecessarily. Still, they're not as bad as the game's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad music. Fortunately, there's the option to turn it off. Once you do that, Trials Fusion: The Awesome Max Edition lives up to its name.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about physics. For example, is it really possible to do a backflip up onto a platform above you? Might attempting these stunts in real life without the proper training or equipment lead to getting hurt?
Families maybe take a bike ride together pretending to be the characters in the game.
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