Click the following link for a video of 2XL Supercross in action.

Obviously one of the more interesting features of an iPhone or iPhone Touch is the ability to add apps, and there are some really interesting and useful items out there. A few of our frequently-used apps? Pandora (for streaming music via “stations” that you create). Facebook, MySpace, a Twitter client called Twitterific, and USA Today for lunchtime reading. But when it comes time to beat boredom and play games, you can now add a moto-related app to your collection. 2XL Supercross.

Checking out the info on the game, it says that, “This rhythm-based racing game was designed from the ground up to be easy to pick up and play, but its ever-increasing challenges will keep you in the zone for hours. Blitz your way through carefully crafted doubles, triples and treacherous whoops on custom tracks designed by Motocross champion Stephane Roncada.” We suppose that shouldn’t be too surprising, Ronron has spent years working on various games, back to the days when he was a factory honcho on the Supercross and National circuits.

2LX Supercross was created by a batch of the creative team that used to inhabit Rainbow Studios. You know them, they worked on games like Motocross Madness, ATV Offroad Fury, and MX Unleashed. As they mentioned, Roncada is among that crew, and he let us in on a little bit of what went into producing the app. “This game took us about six month to make. We had to rewrite the Xbox 360 engine that we created for BAJA: Edge of Control to work on the iPhone, and that was a challenge! That's what took the longest, then we started figuring out and learning all the things we could and couldn't do on the iPhone. We had to change and optimize all the artwork many times to get the game looking and playing the way it does. When you think about it, the game is running on a dumbed-down version of the Xbox 360 engine!”

The game also takes advantage of the accelerometer technology built into the iPhone for steering and control. Want to turn right? Tilt to the right. Preload? Tilt it backward, then forward. The other controls are simple. A green button to go, and a red for brakes. There are even four different camera modes, including first person…both with and without handlebars.

Looking at some of the screen grabs, the graphics look a bit crude, but in the game, all the tracks and riders actually look really good. There are also hundreds of combinations of rider gear and bikes. This looks more like a PS2 game than something you’d expect to find on an iPhone.

Game play is fun, and guaranteed to attract attention from people around you as you work your way around courses, tilting the handheld device from side to side. We worked through several of the tracks (there are 12, plus a practice/freestyle area), and they increase in difficulty as you go. As you master the tracks, you unlock additional levels. Getting a handle on the steering is the biggest challenge, and it is customizable. There’s even a way to upload your scores to the 2XL Live server, and see how your lap times rank against other players, though Stephane did mention, “All the times are being recorded but the actual site isn't up yet, we're trying to finish it by the end of the week. All the laptimes ever since the game came out will be saved and will show up when the live site is done.”

So how was it making a game for a handheld device? “Making a game for a mobile platform was very different then what we're used to! We've been working with all this latest technology for years and we basically had to go back to PS2 tech, with all the restrictions of a phone! We learned a lot of cool tricks during the development of 2XL Supercross and we plan on using them to make our next game even better. The best part about working on this project was the fact that we didn't have a publisher behind us looking at our every move and telling us what to do. We made our own schedule and the work environment was a lot more friendly.”

We’d seen Ronron at several races earlier this season, and he was occasionally shooting some, uh…interesting shots. When asked about it, he laughed and said, “Yes, when I'm shooting at the races I often take pictures of random stuff, like hay bales, banners, stadium seats, stadium walls, dirt texture and such things. I can use them as art assets when creating the levels for the game. So if you see me taking pictures of a random wall with nothing on it, you'll know why! And you'll know I'm not crazy!”

Maybe the most interesting part of this is the price. A mere $7.99 for something that looks like it belongs on a console game. Pretty cool.

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  • Bulldog Racing

    4/16/2009 8:37 AM

    This game is really cool! The only problem is my boys have taken over my iphone!!!!

  • GuyB

    4/15/2009 10:58 PM

    Here's one more tip for you guys. I'd heard a couple people say they were having trouble swiping between tracks. Try restarting your phone and then relaunch the game. That worked for one of our staff members.

  • GuyB

    4/12/2009 4:42 PM

    I was having trouble with the steering at first, but after some tweaks (+ on tilt sensitivity and steering sensitivity, and - on Dead Zone), I'm much happier with it.

  • MXMatt

    4/12/2009 4:32 PM

    This is the first App I have paid "real money" for. It is very cool. Better than any other gaming App I have purchased. Very reminiscent of MX vs ATV Unleashed. I think the brake and gas buttons need to be separated a little more as my thumb tends to slide onto the brake too easily. Can't wait to get better at it.

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