Nail'd combines two simple ingredients, and it does this very effectively. Immense speed and insane races combine perfectly with arcadey controls that make steering your chosen steed incredibly easy. You can throw the bikes into the tightest of corners without braking and you will usually make it out alive, which is hard not to enjoy.
The same can't be said for the jumps, unfortunately. Clearly dropping a thousand feet into a pillar made of stone is going to result in the untimely death of the bike and its rider - that makes sense. However, some bushes also seem to share the same indestructible properties, and sometimes all it takes to provoke a respawn is a smear of gravel on the road. A bit more consistency wouldn't have gone amiss with these details, as five seemingly unnecessary restarts in one race can easily sour the experience.
Fortunately, the AI is pretty forgiving, at least in the early stages. Our first race saw the nearest competitor over ten seconds behind, even after hitting the bushes of doom on multiple occasions. In fact, when we crashed they didn't seem to gain any time at all, once we’d got a big enough head-start – losing must have been a foregone conclusion to the computer, we think.
The technical term for what I'm feeling is: AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
Initially, you only have access to a default male or female character, with a few other aesthetical options such as the colour of your 'leathers' to customise, but working your way through the tournaments unlocks other options. The same applies for the bikes/ATVs themselves. Although your options are somewhat limited, you can still fettle with the exhaust, wheels and other parts to not only affect your vehicle's look, but performance too.
What Nail'd offers in terms of customisation isn't going to appease the hardcore Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport crowds, but it certainly lets you give your multiplayer races a personal touch. It's perfectly possible to create a black quad with pink handlebars, if you get such an inclination.
Meanwhile, the multiplayer component of Nail’d supports up to 12 players and offers basically the same experience as the singleplayer game, only less forgiving and with more swearing. It’s definitely fun, but we were sad to see there’s no party play or split screen mode. Even so, the online play represents a lot of hours of mad racing, especially if you personally know your competitors.
Windmills (will soon be) in my mind
Although there’s the exciting promise of more outfits and more bike parts to add even more speed, Nail'd is unlikely to succour you in for long periods of time, however. Contrary to popular belief, adrenaline-filled races don't lend themselves to longevity; the lack of variety means you will play in short, sharp bursts.
Not that it matters. What Nail'd lacks in realism and longevity it more than makes up for with its unrelenting pursuit of immense speed and arcade thrills. Maybe times have moved on and realism is king, but sometimes we just want to play a video game for sheer escapism. It’s here that Nail'd delivers. We may not be playing it in two months and it's not revolutionary, but the ride is enjoyable while it lasts.