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Bike Baron
by Paul Byron on Wednesday 9th Nov 2011

Bring on the bikes

It seems stunt bike games (or Trials games as they’ve become known since Trials HD successfully took the crown) are all the rage on the App Store at the moment.  The latest and greatest of these is Bike Baron, a more cartoony take on the Trials HD formula, coming in somewhere between Redlynx’s famous game and the equally great PSN title Joe Danger.

But don’t let the cute graphics fool you, Bike Baron will have you swearing at your device after you fail to make that jump for the 100th time or come in 2 seconds late to get three stars on the level.  If you’re the sort of person who likes a challenge, though, step on up and take a go.

 

Bike Baron

Thankfully the graphics work in your favour and really add to the charm of the game. The colourful backgrounds and the main character, along with his bike-riding cat chum, never present a problem and give you enough of a warning for the next part of the stage.  That said, later levels require replaying the level numerous times until you know it off by heart. 

Sound is worth a mention, too, with a little background tune on the menu by the same guy who penned the Angry Birds ditty.  This song is equally likely to get into your head.  The chuckles from the biker during the game give you an instant sense of achievement from each successful jump.

 

Bike Baron

While later levels can be tricky (and then some), the game does ease you in to the mechanics on the Easy difficulty level and the fact that the only buttons you’ll ever use are Stop and Go, along with tilt direction, means that it takes only a few minutes to get the hang of the game.  The old adage of ‘a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master’ is true here, though and by the time you get to the Hard difficulty there’s a chance of baldness as hair is pulled in rage. Many may not even make the Extreme difficulty. 

One neat idea that Bike Baron has to alleviate this is to use stars to unlock levels in any order.  Earning stars from the, now industry standard, 3 star per level system requires getting a good time, collecting all the coins dotted around the course or completing another objective.  One star can then be used to unlock any other level in the game, though finishing a level will immediately give you the option to unlock the next, in a more traditional approach.  Given that, as levels get much harder, 3 stars will be difficult to come by, things start to thin out towards the latter levels, but that gives players yet another reason to go back and get 3 stars on past stages.

 

Bike Baron

Another feather in Bike Baron’s cap is the User Created levels.  A very easy to use level editor gives you the ability to create your own courses from scratch, using one of the 3 background themes.  Once completed, you can store them using a 4 digit code that the game provides for you and pass them around to friends.   It goes some way to help ease the pressure when you find yourself unable to continue in the main game and provides a social aspect. 

Bike Baron is a game that provides fun and frustration in equal measure, but balances these at just the right level to perfectly hit that ‘one more go’ approach.  Fans of Trials style games shouldn’t hesitate to pick this one up.  

metacritic

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  • Sound: 9
  • Graphics: 9
  • Gameplay: 10
  • Longevity: 9

9

Superb


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