Indie games often get a bad reputation; they’re viewed as poorly designed, as clones of existing games, or both.  The Indie Games section of the Xbox 360 dashboard has plenty of twin stick shooters and role playing games.  What they don’t have a lot of are 2.5D motorcycle games, and that’s where Toy Stunt Bike excels.

Here’s what we liked:

Trials HD, but through a child’s eyes – While much simpler in design, Toy Stunt Bike makes no qualms about the game it tries to emulate, and emulate Trials it does.  It takes the best features of Trials HD, simplifies them, then adds a scoring system based on time, flags recovered, and tricks performed.

Easy to pick up – For Trials HD veterans and newcomers to the genre alike this game takes all of a few minutes to get the hang of.  After completion of the first few tracks players will be performing wheelies, backflips, and frontflips while seamlessly landing jumps.

A lot for your dollar – At 80MSP the game is a steal.  Ten tracks laid are laid out in different parts of a house, and each feels unique.  Kitchen courses use spoons, bowls and toasters as obstacles and ramps, while bedrooms are decorated with word blocks and matchbox car tracks.  While all ten courses can be unlocked quickly by Trials HD veterans, the author provided the extra challenges of finding flags and beating the optimal time for each course.

Here’s what we didn’t like:

Inconsistent sound volumes – What players will quickly find is that volume levels are all over the place; the starting grid beeps are extremely loud and the music, though a decent selection, is also too loud, masking the bike’s motor.

No customizationToy Stunt Bike is devoid of any sort of personalization.   Yes, the game is only 80MSP, but a simple choice of color for the motorcycle would have satisfied the ever-growing hunger for players to personalize the object they control.

Toy Stunt Bike will most definitely appeal to the 1.3 million Trials HD fans as well as those just looking for a casual low-cost romp through obstacles on a motorcycle.  With it’s child-like charm and fair difficulty curve it offers even appeal across the board to all players.

Score: Buy It