(CBS News) Developer RedLynx's "Trials Evolution" does a good job of building upon the groundwork laid by its 2009 predecessor.
The platform racing game is a modern-day version of the Nintendo's "Excitebike" or its lesser-known, but equally fun, cousin Sega's "Enduro Racer," updated for today's extreme Mountain Dew junkies.
Racing across a 2D plane, you have to carefully control your speed and pitch to land every jump perfectly on your way to the finish line.
The game never takes itself too seriously. You'll race through outlandish 3D environments, listen to your rider squeal with joy or terror as he takes off on ramps and enjoy intricate "death scenes" at the successful completion of each track. There's also no real penalty for crashing your bike, as a simple tap of a button will set you back at the last checkpoint you crossed.
The gameplay is simple enough to get a handle on and has just the right balance of difficulty. It can be played casually with friends - passing the controller on the couch - or you can really get into it and go for the high score on the leaderboards. Just completing each track can be a fun casual experience, but those looking to earn a gold medal on every level will need a decent quantity of patience and perseverance.
"Trials Evolution" is a fun Xbox Live Arcade title, but may not be to everyone's liking. Whether it's a deep and challenging game or just a fun little title that you come back to every once in a while will depend on how badly you want a gold medal and the time you're willing to put into it.
Trials Evolution is rated E10+ for Everyone ages 10+ by the ESRB. It is available for download now on Xbox Live.