Over the years we have seen countless biking games. From the BMX series from the masters of bike physics over at Teagames to the ever-challenging Trial Bike series from RedLynx, the biking genre of casual games will always be a comforting choice—the "macaroni and cheese" of casual Web games. The top biking games have inspired countless clones. But this is not a bad thing. I give you as proof the latest in the genre: Mountain Bike.
Mountain Bike is a charming little 2D stunt biking game indeed. Controls follow the genre standard: [up] arrow to accelerate, [down] arrow to brake, [left] and [right] arrows to lean backward and forward respectively. Also included is the ability to do a 180 degree spin by pressing [space bar]. This can be used as a trick or to change directions.
Although you have infinite lives, the game is timed. Crashing sends you back to the start of the level and takes ten seconds off of the clock. If the clock runs out, the game ends. However, each new level adds more time to the clock. Doing tricks will boost your score, but also make you crash a lot. Thankfully a trick tutorial is provided for those of us (myself included) who don't already know the difference between a toothpick grind and an icepick grind. Oh yeah, did I mention the grinding? This game boasts the best implementation of grinding I've ever seen in a biking game.
Analysis: How could you not love a great biking game? It has everything one could ever ask for: wonderfully rendered levels, annoying rock music, and best of all, a mute button for that annoying rock music. And the physics are interesting! Yes, they do take some getting used to. Often I found myself rotating way too quickly in the air. Other times I under-rotated and landed on my head - we all know that feeling. But once you figure it out, you can really do some cool tricks. My favorite combo is to start out doing a backflip, then press the space bar halfway through to turn it into a front flip. However, if you really want to rack up points, don't listen to me. I placed a humbling 1862nd on the daily high score list.
One high point of the game is the grinding, which only requires you to ride onto a rail. Then you can either ride it until the end or drop through to the ground below. Another highlight is the level design. They even included an ode to a trials course! But by far the most entertaining part of the game, as with all bike games, is watching your bike crumple and fly apart as you careen through the air screaming (at least I like to scream) when you crash. Oh the times I've had with good ol' ragdoll physics... To conclude, I present a challenge: Find a good use for the "wall ride" trick.