/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Pumped BMX 2 review: A BMX stunt game that gets everything right

Jason_Parker.jpg

Pumped 2 for iOS ($2.99, £1.99, AU$3.79) is the sequel to Pumped (iOS|Android), a 2D BMX stunt game that built a large cult following on the App Store. The original had fairly simple graphics and a flat 2D style, but still managed to be fun as you pulled off big tricks on tons of tracks.

pumped2promo.jpg
8.8

Pumped BMX 2

The Good

Pumped BMX 2 has great-looking graphics, tons of content, and addictive gameplay. It's a huge improvement over the original game.

The Bad

You can't watch a replay of a great run.

The Bottom Line

With numerous tracks, 500 challenges, and smooth addictive gameplay, Pumped BMX 2 for iOS is a must buy for extreme sports game fans.

Pumped 2 shares the side scrolling aspects of the original, but with 3D backdrops, tons of tracks, and immensely satisfying stunt combos, this game is vastly superior to the original.

I originally downloaded this game because it looked like a fun diversion, but have come to really enjoy it and even play it daily because it does just about everything right.

Pumped BMX 2 offers 3D stunt-jumping action (pictures)

See all photos

Learning the ropes

Pumped 2 starts you out on an easy track with two straight-forward jumps, then leads you through a tutorial to show how to control your bike. To build momentum, you use the big Pump button in the lower right, then right before hitting the lip of a jump, you let go. The pump button also brings you down to earth faster once you're in the air, so it is important to let go to get the most height in your jump.

While in the air, you can perform several different tricks and (once you get the hang of it) combine them for big scores. On the left you can swipe an onscreen joystick while in the air to perform one of eight different basic tricks or touch a button to go to more advanced tricks that use the same joystick. On the right is a spin button that causes your bike to perform a horizontal 360. For flips, you can turn your phone physically to the left or right to perform back flips or front flips respectively.

It definitely takes awhile to get the hang of the controls, but once you do, you'll be using all the buttons I've mentioned to perform insane tricks for huge points.

So many challenges

Pumped 2 has tons of tracks to master and each have 10 challenges. The easiest of which is to complete the track, though even that can be incredibly difficult once you get to the higher levels. Many of the tracks force you to build momentum to even land on the next section of track so sometimes if you spend too much time doing tricks in the air, you'll lose your momentum and won't be able to continue on.

Other challenges have you trying to hit an overall point score for your run or for an individual trick. There are easy, medium, and hard challenges for each track, and each close out with requiring you to perform a specific trick combo. So once you play the game for awhile, the challenge of Pumped 2 becomes trying to close out all the requirements for each track before moving on to the next.

The tracks are divided up into five tiers of difficulty, and while I've only unlocked the third tier so far, just finishing tracks at the higher difficulty levels is incredibly challenging in itself. In other words, Pumped 2 quickly gets extremely challenging, so don't worry about finishing the game too soon because it will take several repeated attempts to complete all the challenges.

There is a lot to do here, but I found I was just as happy doing one track over and over again to pull off big tricks because with the way the bike handles and the smoothness of tricks, jumps and landings are all incredibly satisfying.

Unlockable moves and recording

As tracks get more difficult you'll eventually unlock another set of moves that will help with the bigger jumps. I already mentioned the pump button that helps you get momentum and that you release before the lip of a jump. For an extra burst of power, you can also quickly turn your phone to either the left or right before the lip. A quick turn left will give you boost that shoots you higher into the air. A quick turn to the right will make you jump a longer distance. In the earlier levels these can be used to save you when you have poor momentum, but in later levels, they're required to land the longer jumps -- even at top speed.

Another new addition that wasn't available in the original is the ability to record your run. You can touch record before your run, then at the end, you're given the option save or discard the replay. If you save, the short video is stored in your photo library. Being able to record is a great addition, but I would much rather be able to save a replay after the fact. As is, you're inevitably going to have your best runs when you're not recording, so while I like that you can save, a replay option would be better.

Conclusion

Pumped BMX 2 has great-looking 3D graphics and is loaded with tracks and challenges, but it's the smooth gameplay that keeps me coming back for more.

With that said, I still wish I could save a replay rather than hit record first and then execute my run. It would guarantee the replays I saved were my best runs rather than trying to get lucky during a recording.

Still, Pumped BMX 2 gets almost everything right with smooth addictive gameplay, tons of tracks to explore, and it is a huge improvement over the original in almost every way.

pumpedbmx2.jpg
Watch this: Pumped BMX 2

pumped2promo.jpg
8.8

Pumped BMX 2

Score Breakdown

Setup 10Features 8Interface 9Performance 9