Just because a game is easy on the eye doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be easy on the thumbs. Side-scrolling, platform racer MotoHeroz lures you into a false sense of security with its cartoony visuals and Nintendo-style collectibles.
You'll sigh with recognition as you speed through loops in the game's forest level which evokes the opening stage of Sonic the Hedgehog.
The ice, desert and underwater levels all have a decidedly Mario-inspired feel. And a trip to the moon even introduces a simplified take on Valve's portal physics. Collectible coins scattered across the track can be scooped up and spent on vehicle upgrades.
Just when you've gotten a heady hit of nostalgia from the environments, MotoHeroz begins serving up some fiendishly tricky driving challenges.
In order to successfully complete the single-player Story adventure, you're going to have to do a whole lot more than just mash the accelerator until your little buggy zips across the finish line.
For one thing, MotoHeroz doesn't even have a finish line. Instead, the game creates a fresh challenge by using a chequered finish orb that you must make contact with in order to complete the race.
In the earlier stages, the finish orb dangles on ropes directly in the path of your buggy but as the difficulty level ramps up, successfully touching the finish orb becomes a tantalising puzzle all by itself.
For instance, you might have to launch your vehicle off a platform at just the right angle to make contact. Later levels get even more creative as you are tasked with dislodging the orb from its ropes before chasing it as it bounces around the level.
While the single-player campaign offers a variety of challenges to keep things new and interesting, the most common one is the time trial.
MotoHeroz features the ghost outline of a racer on track that you have to beat to achieve a silver-medal finish. If you're having a hard time beating the racer to the finish orb, you can always study how it moves through the course and refine your strategy accordingly.
Once you beat the silver-medal ghost, replaying the level will pit you against a slightly faster gold-medal one.
The secret of mastering MotoHeroz lies understanding the game's physics. When your buggy catches air, you can angle its pitch by pressing left or right on the D-pad. This allows you to align your buggy with the landing surface so that you keep your momentum coming out of a jump.
There are plenty of uphill climbs in the game and without enough momentum, there will be times where you inevitably find yourself sliding pitifully back down a hill because you didn't build up enough momentum to carry your buggy all the way up the incline.
The game introduces various power-ups which can be stored on top of your vehicle and triggered with the A button at just the right time in order to advance past certain obstacles in a given level.
While you're sailing through the air, triggering your spring power-up will give you an additional bounce that can help you clear a rocky outcropping. The invisibility squid is a particularly clever invention as it enables you to turn transparent and pass through your opponents to avoid getting pinned behind them in tighter portions of the map.