MMX Hill Climb Review

Even old ideas are more fun with friends

MMX Hill Climb
Hutch Games

At the time of this writing, MMX Hill Climb occupies the #2 spot on the App Store's free games charts. It's sitting right behind in terms of popularity, and if you play it, you're probably going to wonder why.

It's impossible to give an exact answer, of course, but if we were to speculate, it seems that MMX Hill Climb has wisely capitalized on our current obsession with competitive mobile games -- even if the game at the core of this competition is a little too familiar to pass the mustard in 2016.

The Road Well Traveled

MMX Hill Climb's gameplay is virtually indistinguishable from a plethora of mobile games that have come before. A driving game reliant on hills and physics, players will try to advance across the screen without ever flipping upside down and bringing the game to a close. These mechanics have formed the basis of everything from Extreme Road Trip to the post-apocalyptic zombie slay-a-thon Earn to Die. There really isn't anything significant you can add to the formula at this point -- but that doesn't mean you can't trot it out again with a little bit of a twist.

In the case of MMX Hill Climb, that twist is multiplayer competition. Conducted asynchronously, you'll race against the past performance of other players to try and survive for as long as you can (or better yet, cross the finish line). Connect to Facebook and you can even compete against your friends.

As you play, you will earn coins that will help you upgrade your current vehicle's speed, grip, stability, and tilt. This is important because, without upgrades, you'll never manage to see your first finish line. Truth be told, you're going to fail  a lot.​

But seeing those other racers in the mix? It's enough to keep you coming back, trying to improve on your last run and make it just a few more meters. That sense of competition -- and slowly improving your own skillset as a result -- is the one thing that will keep you coming back for more.

Worth taking for a spin?

MMX Hill Climb isn't a fresh experience, and when compared to other games in the genre, it doesn't really do enough to stand out from the pack. Having said that, there's something about the game's competitive design that keeps me coming back for more;  striving to have a better run each and every time.

MMX Hill Climb is also more than generous with the currency you'll use to upgrade your vehicle, allowing you to make a bit of progress between every run. And it's not too rough on the eyes, either. The vehicles are beautifully modeled, and there are little touches in the background of every environment that show a surprising amount of care.

As you play, you'll also earn a premium currency that can be used to unlock new vehicles from a muscle car to an armored personnel carrier. In short, there's more than enough incentive to keep you going once you've started.

Familiar rides are comforting

I find myself torn between two very different emotions when it comes to MMX Hill Climb. On the one hand, this is the sort of physics driving game we've seen countless times before on the App Store. Sure there are some little touches that make it unique, but in the end, it feels about as original as a Flappy Bird clone.

On the other hand, though? It's fun. It's not great, write-home-from-summer-camp, best of the best fun -- but there's definitely some enjoyment to be found here. And in the end, isn't that really the only thing that matters?