Ubisoft acquired game development company RedLynx in 2011 and promised to bring the company's popular Trials series of video games to the iOS platform. Platform racing video game Trials debuted in 2000 on the desktop and made a name for itself on Xbox Live Arcade with Trials HD. Now, the iOS version, Trials Frontier, has made its way to the mobile platform.
The iOS game brings a new dimension to the Trials series by introducing a story line of sorts. You play as a biker who must race a rival biker who is terrorizing the residents of small frontier town. As a result, there is a cast of colorful characters and new missions that reward you for their successful completion.
The iOS app keeps the same four button controls as its predecessors, allowing you to accelerate, brake and flip in both directions using on-screen directional controls. The controls are similar to other versions of the game, even if they are sometimes finicky on the touchscreen. Though the underlying mechanics are solid and the tracks quite fun, Trials Frontiers graphics are bit different on the mobile side, being more cartoony than realistic.
The biggest change from earlier versions of the game is the introduction of freemium style elements like a fuel canister system that limits how much you play before you need to refill your energy levels. If you are successful at completing races and leveling up, then the fuel canister will easily replenish itself. Struggling bikers, though, will feel the sting of their failures by having to wait to play.
Trials Frontier also allows you to upgrade your bike, collecting parts as part of a mini-game after each race. If you win the part you need to move on to the next level, you can pay right away to get it or wait for the required amount of time to pass. If you don't collect the part, you'll need to replay the level over and over again. Fans of the original series may not appreciate this aspect of the game as it ties your progress to the spin of a wheel and not your performance.
Trials Frontier is available for free from the iOS App Store.