Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Hipsters. Love them or hate them. It doesn't matter. Just don't miss Hipster City Cycle. This game -- with it's retro graphics, crunchy 8-bit soundtrack, and its uniquely addictive gameplay -- is a joy to watch, listen to, and (most of all) play.
Hipster City Cycle chronicles the hipsterfication of young Binky McKee. Starting as a young professional with a $100,000 trust fund, Binky must liberate himself from his monetary security in order to climb the hipster ranks. To do this, Binky will hit the streets with his trusty fixie bike, cruising the streets in search of new friends and followers. Once he's found some new friends, Binky can use his money to throw parties for them. Between the parties and the occasional new bike parts Binky steadily drain his bank account, thus increasing his hipster cred.
Hipster City Cycle takes place in the lovingly recreated and pixelated streets of Philadelphia, PA. The city is seperated into several neighborhoods, and each neighborhood has three cycling routes (one short, one medium, one long) for Binky to cruise in his search for followers. As Binky cycles along each route, dodging
cars, potholes and other hazards, he will gain points. These points are given for speedy and stylish completion of each route and the more points Binky scores, the more new followers he will gain at the end of each run. Style points are given for completing any of the many tricks in Binky's repertoire. Nudging other cyclists, riding into oncoming traffic, running red lights, and balancing in place all give Binky a score multipliers and increased style scores. Increased scores mean more followers, and more followers mean bigger parties where Binky can spend more of his money.
At the outset, Binky lives in the posh Center City, but as he spends his money on his followers, Binky will need to move to cheaper and more hipster friendly neighborhoods. Since these neighborhoods are cheaper so are the parties, and it will take more followers at each party to spend the same amount as in a richer neighborhood. Occasionally, Binky will also use his money to buy new bike parts which can be mixed and matched for thousands of different bike combinations. Each frame or wheel has its own unique stats that will affect how the bike rides.
Getting Binky going on his bike is done by alternating thumb taps on each side of the screen (think of your thumbs as feet on the bike's pedals), and tilting the device will steer the bike up and down the street. The
controls are superb; responsive and subtle enough to make it possible to navigate Binky through dense traffic without breaking his neck over and over.
At the end of each route players are given bronze, silver, or gold medals for time, style, and skill. Going back to each route to improve medal ratings is never boring because the routes always have new people, new traffic patterns, and more followers. It is just fun to navigate the pixelated parks and streets and enjoy the art.
Hipster City Cycle is a well-crafted game and it is well worth a try. The retro style lends itself well to the platform, and the controls are smooth. Following Binky as he ascends to hipster cycling stardom is the icing on this mustachioed cake. You'll want to ride this one around the block a few times before you put it down.