The pinnacle of classic arcade-style racing games
• The speed, for me the key factor in racers, is lethal, but, what is also important in regard to the speed is that with all the details enabled, the frame rate never decreases to a degree where it would distract from gaming experience. With the use of Dosbox, the frame rate can be further increased to make the game run smooth as silk, if a bit slower.
• Graphics are nice on the eyes (there are numerous gameplay videos and screenshots available on the internet).
• Game mechanics are as good as one could wish for - racing with superbike feels like racing with superbike and racing with motocross bike feels like racing with motocross bike. Of course it needs to be underlined that gameplay is arcade, not a simulation. Because of this, collisions are logically not realistic; if game would splatter the player over the mud or concrete every time he'd hit an obstacle at high speed, it wouldn't be much fun for beginners.
• Difficulty levels are well varied to suit one's skills and hardest difficulty is just right; challenging, but not unforgiving.
• The controls are superb, very responsive and, in time, they become intuitive.
• Music and sound effects fit in the game perfectly.
With the expansion which includes an additional set of tracks applied, there is a total of 10 (4+1 road, 4+1 dirt on mud/sand/snow) tracks. They offer a good variety and can require a specific style or different racing approach even on the same type of surface. This encourages the player to also take advantage of the many racing bikes which differ significantly in characteristics (speed, grip or steering, acceleration and brakes). Unlike some racing games where one and same car is almost always an obvious best choice, regardless of track or driving conditions, I remember using at least 3 different superbikes and 2 motocross bikes throughout the game.
Replay value is very high. One can always attempt to improve one's own best times or times of other active players. Multi-player mode is available, though I never tested it; supposedly for 2 players. Via winning the championship events, player can unlock reverse tracks and pocket bikes, which are a lot of fun to watch and offer a whole new racing experience.
There is only one minor shortcoming to this game. That is the Lost Ruins track, which to an extent feels unpolished, as if developers would be in a rush to meet the deadline, but it is much better to have it included than not. Also, application of the free expansion by Delphine, titled as TWONEWISLANDS, will in game enable the optional (and reversible) replacement of the Lost Ruins and Rock Forest tracks with Fun Fair and Sea of Sand.
What I regret is that Delphine had ever only released one expansion with additional set of tracks. 10 tracks in extended version might sound like plenty, but because this game is such a gem, I would gladly buy or otherwise support similar expansions.
The Bottom Line
Playing Moto Racer definitely is an experience I would recommend to any gamer. Out of 20 - 30 racing (and driving) games in total, it stands on its racer pedestal far above the rest of its genre that I played. It is pure fun.
To me, racing games generally have a life span of anything from a few to about 40 hours. I was playing Moto Racer actively for 2 months, and it's one of those games I know I will keep returning to.
Last, but not least, I have to praise the courtesy of Delphine Software toward its customers; releasing a free, quality expansion which had delivered two additional, excellent tracks to the Moto Racer fans, was a very positive gesture.
Overall rating: 93%