Bike Rider DX
If you are looking for a nice relaxing ride through various scenic locations, then Bike Rider DX by Lireneosoft is probably not the game for you. Unless of course your idea of relaxing is jumping over bottomless pits, dodging hostile birds and avoiding deadly traps. There are no motorists to watch out for, so it is not all bad though, and you get to take a whirlwind tour of ten different countries.
The game was originally released on iOS and Android, so it is not the best looking title in the 3DS catalog, but for it really doesn’t look too bad. The sprites are kept simple, so your character is a little stickperson riding their little bicycle, but the backgrounds are filled with color. The different 2D layers of the game also benefit a lot from the 3D effect, which makes the parallax scrolling look even cooler. The “World Tour” mode is split across ten stages, each with five sub-levels. These locations are spread across the globe and the visuals are themed around the country that you are visiting. This means Hawaii is all blue waters, sandy beaches and palm trees while Japan boasts Mount Fuji and skyscrapers. With countries like England, China, India and others, it means that there is plenty of variety when it comes to the visuals. The game also features a couple of bonus levels with some abstract neon backgrounds that look particularly nice in 3D.
Bike Rider DX is an endless runner style platformer, so the purpose of each level is simply to survive all the perils and make it to the flagpole at the end. Along the way there are three coins to collect, which is used to unlock new levels. The placement of these coins starts out straightforward enough, but on later levels a bit more finesse is required to nab all of them. Of course, you don’t HAVE to grab all the coins on each level, but it does give the game some added replay value. The path to the exit is also ridiculously easy during the early levels, but slowly more and more obstacles are introduced to impede your progress. Everything from bottomless pits, birds, spikes, crumbling blocks and other bikers appear to be intend on stopping you dead in your tracks. If you fail it is right back to the start of the level, but luckily they are short enough that you will want to jump right back in.
You don’t have to avoid everything though, as there are also some helpful things sprinkled throughout the levels. Red springs catapult your rider upwards while cannons can shoot you across the screen. There are even airstreams for crossing gaps that would otherwise be impassable. While playing you’ll also notice gems that change your bicycle for a few seconds. These range from a jet booster that provides a nice speed burst to one that gives you the ability to float. A handy count-down timer for the last five seconds ensures that you are not caught by surprise when these abilities wear off.
Seeing as the screen scrolls automatically and you cannot stop your bicycle the controls are very straightforward. The circle pad is used for accelerating or slowing down while the A button takes care of jumping. Your rider even has the ability to perform a double jump with a second tap of the A button. The audio featured in the game is nice and upbeat thanks to music that is catchy without becoming annoying. Even the vocal track used for the bonus stage is really good. The fact that the music does not restart each time you fail and retry a level also helps to prevent the audio from being repetitive.
Even after you’ve completed the World Tour and collected every coin the game still has some replay value thanks to the Grand Prix mode. Here your only goal is to travel as far as possible along an endless level that is made up of parts from the World Tour levels. However, it is a pity that the leaderboard for this mode is not online, so you are left competing against your own best attempts. The game does however feature a rather long list of awards to achieve for completionists.
Bike Rider DX is not a bad way to spend a couple of minutes and features a surprising amount of content considering its simple premise. It can however be picked up for much cheaper on iOS or Android, which makes the 3DS version a tougher choice. If you regularly play with the 3D switched turned off, then you’ll probably be better off with the other handheld versions. However, in the unlikely event that you don’t own a smartphone or prefer playing in 3D then you will have fun with this version. It kept us busy for a lot longer than expected and remained a lot of fun throughout.