While not a launch title for the original Game Boy, Motocross Maniacs was a year-one release, and it plays like one. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s in that transition between a single-screen and score-focused experience and a more complex experience that the new hardware allowed for. Like Alleyway, it’s the kind of game that almost struggles to expand beyond what was the tradition at the time. Still, there’s a lot of fun to be had with Motorcross Maniacs.
This Konami developed and published game, under Ultra here in North America, plays heavily into elements used in Excitebike on the NES. Players take control over a motorbike and can tilt the front wheel up and down. They also have the ability to use a speedboost, letting them launch off ramps and into loops, or make up for lost ground during a crash. The goal is to complete the level within the time limit. There are power-ups to give more boost or time, but losing a level doesn’t give you that ‘one more time’ itch that a good game should, just a sense that you will repeat a section in what can sometimes be a bit of a slog.
There are a few game modes, including one that takes advantage of the Game Boy link cable for head-to-head action. Generally speaking, it’s a pretty simple game where the idea is to just replay levels to beat your established score. The music and graphics are simple but serviceable, something that adds to this game’s almost stoic structure.. You do have the ability to do flips for combos and take alternate routes, but this is largely a game where the amount of fun you have is directly proportional to how much you enjoy high-score racers.
Like a lot of the early-release Game Boy games that have been covered on Yokoi, they’re fun but leave something to be desired. Motorcross Maniacs doesn’t necessarily feel like something is missing, but that what’s offered feels more like an appetizer. It’s a nice bite, but really only serves to open your Game Boy appetite to more substantial offerings.
D’Arcy is an educator and gamer from BC, Canada. He’s been gaming his entire life and enjoys both new and retro games. His consoles of choice are Game Boy, PS3, and Switch.You can follow his gaming online @darcyska_gaming