Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
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Angry Bikes is thankfully not another physics puzzler, this time with malcontent bikes flying through the air, presumably at carefully-arranged school buses or something…wait, now I want to play this game. No, this is an endless runner game, developed by the creators of Zen Wars, where the goal is to ride a motorbike as far as possible, collecting coins and fuel to go even further. The important element is to hold left and right on the screen to balance the wheels as they land, trying to gain a speed boost for landing perfectly. Swiping up or down will cause the bike to propel upward or downward to help collect items.
Angry Bikes hammers hard on the core Jetpack Joyride-inspired list of challenges for earning coins, complete with unlockable items for those coins. The game actually has an interesting feel to it – it’s about speed and elevation, but just trying to achieve height and perfect landings means that it gets more difficult to pick up the fuel canisters that keep the bike going. So, balance must be found between optimal speed, and trying to stay alive. The game gives players a good sense of progression in their skills, that they’re improving with each playthrough, as the mechanics become more familiar. Games featuring playable cameos from other games are a personal favorite of mine, and being able to play as Lord Evilz from Zen Wars was a personal highlight, even if an evil samurai warlord on a motorbike is slightly anachronistic.
The landing mechanic seems way too subtle to work perfectly in a game like this. The difference between a 'perfect' landing and what is judged to be an imperfect one is slim. Flipping downward happens at such a rate that makes it practically impossible to land properly. As well, the version at release has some minor bugs in it: the bike will randomly slow down in midair, and crashes occasionally reduce coin totals to the last time the game exited properly.
Angry Bikes is not an entirely essential part of the endless runner canon on iOS, but it is an entertaining diversion nonetheless.