Nintendo Switch owners looking for a BMX freestyle game don’t have much to choose from at the moment, but what they do have is Curve Digital’s Pumped BMX Pro. Developed by one man studio Yeah Us! Games, the momentum-based BMX freestyler is the sequel to Pumped BMX+ which appeared on other consoles and PC. This is a bigger, better version of the past game with a tricked-out new look, improved physics, and an insane roster of professional BMX stars.
Let’s start this off with looks as the first thing you’ll notice is the art style. It doesn’t really look all that realistic and has a cartoon-like feel to it. It actually reminds me a bit of Fortnite, if the makers of Fortnite made a BMX game. It’s all very colorful and cheerful and not at all what I’d expect a BMX game to look like. It works here however and probably does make the game feel more accessible to both young and old alike.
Now on to the gameplay. Pumped BMX Pro is mainly a tricks only game where the goal is to complete challenges and gain the high scores. Courses are pretty short so you’ll need to pull off your best tricks in the short amount of time you got to make the highest scores. Pumped BMX Pro is also all momentum based, which means you really need to pay attention to where you are on the course and when to do certain moves. For instance, you’ll need to hold down the “A” button while riding and let go at the top of the ramp in order to gain the most height. As soon as you come to the beginning of the landing ramp, you need to press and hold “A” again to bring your rider down quickly in order to gain the most speed on the ride back down. Rinse and repeast throughout the course while completing tricks to make it to the end. Tricks are performed via the right thumbstick and also in combination with the shoulder buttons for additional moves. The right trigger is used to spin yourself around 360-degrees and the left thumbstick is used for flips and adjustment of landing angles.
There are a few issues with the gameplay that make it a little bit frustrating. For starters, the momentum system that makes the game unique is also the same system that will give you the most problems. What that means is that once you lose any semblance of speed, you can pretty much forget about finishing. There’s no way to pedal between jumps to regain speed. You can only gain or keep up your speed based on how you land your jumps and when you release the “A” button to jump. What that ultimately means is that some levels are almost impossible to finish unless you make a perfect run, which can be difficult on some courses. Also, the trick controls area bit weird. They are a little awkward at first and takes some time to get used to.
Despite these issues, I still really enjoy playing Pumped BMX Pro. There are plenty of challenges in each course to keep you busy and plenty of courses to play on (over 60 courses). There are also around 40 plus tricks and combos to master and aiming for that high score is always there as your main goal. There is a huge roster of real BMX Professionals to choose from and play as as well as pre-designed bikes. You can even create your own bike if you don’t like any of theirs. Choosing different Pros and bikes however doesn’t seem to affect the gameplay.
With all that said, Pumped BMX Prowould be a fun addition to anyone’s Nintendo Switch library. It’s one of the few BMX games out there that can be really fun once you invest some time into it. There are plenty of levels and course to play and the challenge is certainly there. Also, this is one of those games where you can invest your time in short spurts or long runs depending on the time you have and it won’t affect your enjoyment of it.
Received game from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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