It turns out that games ending in 'z' can actually be good!
I had a chance to demo MotoHeroz with the developers, RedLynx, who are known for making Trials HD on Xbox Live Arcade. MotoHeroz follows in the same vein, but with a saturated, cartoon theme and a variety of vehicles.
RedLynx describes MotoHeroz as not really a racing game, but a platformer with vehicles with undertones of Uniracers. Vehicles handle quite differently from standard racing games. Levels are two-dimensional, and with the Wii Remote in NES configuration, the 2 button is used to move right and the 1 button is used to move left.
The game employs a physics engine that makes vehicles feel extremely light. This means that you can't just hold down the gas and expect to get anywhere, because it is very easy to flip over. A shake of the Remote will right your upside-down car. Though they're a bit unique, the controls are extremely easy to pick up.
Levels are full of hills, loops, water, and numerous obstacles. The goal isn't always to the right -- it could ask you to go in any direction! Elevators and other contraptions are strategically placed around the level, and can lead to amazing stunts or disaster. Even the goal can move around.
The game is a lot of fun, especially in the four player "party" mode. Though players are racing to the goal, taking the lead up front is not always the best strategy. Mines and collapsing platforms can impede (or even help) your progress, and with the strange physics, you can end up wedged in unfortunate situations. Additionally, players who scroll off of the screen will automatically be transported to the position of the last place player still on the screen. This means that if the leader gets too far ahead, everybody else will suddenly be in the running again. Weapons can be picked up and fired with a press of the A button.
Despite the WiiWare size limit, RedLynx has managed to pack a ton of content into the game, for a total of over 100 levels, each with a lot of color, animation, and personality. Some levels will be downloadable challenges, provided on a daily basis. MotoHeroz features a number of vehicles, which can be unlocked through coins collected in the game. The shape and composition of the vehicles changes their handling. The game also features ten whimsical retro game-inspired music tracks composed by Petri Alanko, composer for Alan Wake.
MotoHeroz is designed to keep things competitive and zany, and should be a lot of fun. The game is scheduled for a summer release. Check back later for more video.