At face value, it looks very similar to Trials series, albeit with cleaner backdrops (inspired by California) and a surfer-bro aesthetic both in its characters and music. When you get to the nitty-gritty, the gameplay is actually quite different. While seemingly inspired by Trials, it actually does not feature the tough, edge of your seat, practice-makes-better type tracks that the former is known for, but rather has two different approaches to gameplay. The first is speed structured tracks. These are as simple as the come concept wise: ride hard and ride fast to the finish line, and cross it before a certain time to gain the best merits. Now riding the track to a T is key to quickly pacing along, so lining up your jump and landing neatly on the following ramp is ideal, but the tracks do not offer much more than that in the way of difficulty. You are introduced to some curve balls, like having the ability to duck and jump over obstacles, but this feature is brought into the mix far too late, appearing noticeably well into the latter half of the games levels. It is a shame too, because this gameplay style would have really separated it from the pack so to speak.
Same goes for the levels. While I liked their designs, they were all too repetitive, with the same locations appearing all too frequently and becoming a blur. There is some nice lighting though, which stood out as fairly memorable, and the vivid colors played their part well too. Variety is the spice of life, meaning this game could use for some more seasoning. Urban Trials Playground tries to get the job done via its customization options, but these too are also fairly light.
Urban Trials Playground features over 50 levels and a split screen multiplayer mode, but at $20, it may not contain enough variety for a lot of potential buyers. While the tracks were solid and I did enjoy them, I found a fair amount of flaws in the overall package. From frame rate stutters, to on-the-track dabs, Urban Trials Playground just is not as creative or explorative as it could and should be. It is a game that flies high but more often than not, tends to fall flat, or at least short of expectations.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review.
Final Score: 7/10
+Solid Visuals, Great Lighting
+Sometimes Fun Gameplay
-Lacks Variety in all Aspects
-Gag Worthy Characters