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Motocross Challenge is a 2D side-scrolling motorcycle game combining regular racing and tricks. The game can only be played through an emulator or a GBA flashcard but is not strictly homebrew. It is a game made by a commercial developer, but when the project was cancelled by two publishers, they decided to release the game for free. The game can also be ordered on a cartridge from the developer's website. In 2010 it was followed up with an iPhone/iPad release.

The tracks remind of Excitebike while the gameplay seems inspired by Motocross Maniacs. The game offers two main modes: Free Ride (choose an unlocked bike and track to practise) and Challenge. The Challenge mode involves a series of events in 3 major categories: Beat the Clock (time-based), Trick Attack (points-based) and World Tour (race against 3 AI opponents). When all courses are finished, the final event, MXC Championship, is unlocked. The events are divided over different trees and completing certain courses unlocks new tracks or one of the 8 available bikes. The bikes have different statistics based on speed, handling, acceleration, height, boost and suspension.

Gameplay involves a fair amount of physics. When the bike accelerates, the front wheel leaves the ground and this needs to be compensated by nudging the d-pad. Up and down on the d-pad is used to switch lanes. Many tricks (activated through the L-button) involve balance and constant correcting is needed. Next to accelerating, braking and tricks, there is a button for boost. Only a limited amount is offered, but it constantly regenerates at a slow rate. It is used to gain extra speed, especially before big jumps to gain extra air time. The full amount of boost should never be used or let maxed out, as too little or too much slows the bike down. While in the air, using a combination of the L-button and the d-pad, players can perform tricks such as superman, nac-nac of backflip. By completing Trick Attack events, new tricks can be unlocked.

There are different types of tracks, set on a beach, an arena, downtown, in the snow, in a forest, in a desert and even a dump. They contain a series of jumps but also areas that slow down the bike, along with obstacles. The game screen shows the current position of the player (in World Tour), the current location on the track along with the finish, the time (remaining time in Beat the Clock), the current lap (in World Tour), the boost meter and the amount of points for a trick, and the remaining trick points needed (in Trick Attack). The game supports passwords to save and restore the player's progress.


Motocross Challenge Game Boy Advance The different events in the Challenge mode
Motocross Challenge Game Boy Advance The desert track
Motocross Challenge iPhone Riding over a bridge
Motocross Challenge Game Boy Advance Track selection in the Free Ride mode

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Critic Reviews

Game Vortex iPhone May 12, 2010 87 out of 100 87
Touch Arcade iPhone Apr 26, 2010 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Game Vortex Game Boy Advance Jun 01, 2007 80 out of 100 80
The Freehare Game Boy Advance 2007 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80


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Development on the game was started in May 2004, with 3 main developers: David Doucet, Étienne Houle and Daniel-David Guertin. David and Étienne were employed in the games industry full time and worked on the game part time. They dealt with indie artists for the website and music tracks. DevKit Advance was used for code and graphics were created with various software, such as Gimp and Photoshop. All other tools used were developed in-house such as the track editor.

In 2006 they announced to have signed a contract with a major publisher. They had to slice the game to its core and cancel planned features. The publisher wanted to have the game on the smallest and cheapest format cartridge, without memory batteries. Therefore the developers had to remove a profile system that allowed different saved games on the same cartridge, high scores for every tracks, 4 additional music tracks, alternate colors for the enemies, special animations for the menu, a special ending for completing the game with a 100% ratio, a deeper trick system and secret achievements to beat for every event in the game. Ultimately the publisher backed off because they thought the game would not have enough commercial value.

They were soon picked up by another publisher (but now with a contract without the advance payment of royalties). The game was finished in February 2007 and in its final testing when the new publisher decided to cancel the game as they thought the market of that time would not support enough sales of a non-licensed game. All what was needed to be done was to burn the code on the cartridges to sell it. They started working on the game when the Nintendo DS was first introduced, and still considered harmless, but by the time they were working with a publisher, the DS Lite nailed the coffin of the GBA shut and publishers were backing away.

Frustrated, tired, disappointed, publisher-less and with a gold game in their hands, the development team decided to offer the game for free on their site in April 2007 and encourage to spread it.
Contributed to by David Doucet (8) and Sciere (576805)