App Review: Bike or Die 2 by Chillingo Ltd.
Bike of Die 2 by Chillingo Ltd. is a well designed bike simulator. In design and complexity, this game reminds me of Fantastic Contraption. The levels and goals of the levels are simple. Yet, completing them is often quite challenging. On your bike, you must collect the red flags and carry them to the checkered flag. The difficulty comes in successfully navigating the terrain on your bike. There are ravines to jump over, ice in your path, and even areas where you must ride on the ceiling.
The good news is that the controls are sensitive and powerful enough to keep you in control. The bad news is that the courses are so difficult that every move you make counts. You have a Go button that makes you pedal, propelling the bike forward. One important thing to note is that the forward propulsion of the bike comes from the rear tire just as in a real bike. If that tire is not on the ground, the bike does not move. You also have a Stop button that applies the brakes on the bike. You have to be careful with how quickly or how hard you apply the brakes, as you can easily cause your bike to flip. To help you steady the bike as it moves along, there are buttons that lean the bike forward and backwards pushing one tire down and lifting the other up. I was amazed at how often I needed these buttons to keep from crashing or flipping the bike. Te bike has very bouncy shocks and is a little harder to steady than any bike I have ever ridden. There is also a button that flips you and your bike around so that you can drive in the opposite directions (ie. forward becomes backwards and visa versa). Because the courses are all 2D, this button is often a must. I found that with so many buttons and so many things to keep track of that the controls took some getting used to.
I recommend that when starting this game you start with the Introduction levels. You can use these levels to learn how the game works. If you need help on a level, you can tap on the bottom of the screen and the app will give you instructions on how to complete the level. There is also a bike shadow that appears on the screen to show you the way to go. If you don’t keep up, he may get out of sight and then you are on your own again. Once you have completed the introduction levels, there are several other level packs that you can choose from in the menu.
When trying to beat some of the more difficult levels, I was grateful that there are checkpoints in the levels. If you fail to complete a level successfully, you can start over at the last checkpoint that you attained. While very helpful in completing the levels, starting again at a checkpoint does preclude you from entering your time in the hall of fame. To be eligible for the hall of fame, you must earn a fast time completing the level all in one shot. The app not only keeps track of how long a level takes you, but it keeps track of how many times you play a level, how many times you complete it successfully, and how many times you fail. It can even keep track of completion times for more than one player if you create a profile for another player.
The levels that keep you safe on solid ground are very challenging in and of themselves. Some levels require you think even harder. There are transporters that move you instantly from one area to another and even flip the orientation of your bike. There are also walls and ceilings that are sticky that you an actually ride on without falling. I did find the menus and navigation in this app to be somewhat awkward at first, but it didn’t take long for me to get used to it.
Bike or Die 2 is an amazing simulator game that presents you with very challenging puzzles. There are so many levels that the game is not easily beat.
Bike or Die 2 is $6.99 in the iTunes App Store.
Developer Website: www.chillingo.com