LightBike is on sale for $.99 until the next update which will include an internet-based multiplayer mode
Anyone who’s seen the classic sci-fi geek movie Tron already knows about “lightcycles” and how unbelievably cool they are. For the uninitiated, the most memorable scene in Tron was where the good guys… one of whom was a very young Jeff Bridges… were battling the bad guys on these crazy motorcycles that would leave trails of light behind them. Run into someone’s light trail and your ass is toast, and if you can manage to steer your bike around the other guys in just the right way they’ll eventually be trapped and have no choice but to eat it.
LightBike is a pretty sweet game that does a surprisingly good job of reproducing the look and speed of the lightcycle battle in Tron. In single player mode, it’s you vs. three computer-controlled bikes and you get to choose from three difficulty levels. There’s also an options panel where you can control the size of the racing grid and several other factors that affect gameplay.
Even on the “hard” skill level, the computer isn’t really all that hard to beat on a small playing field, but it does become more challenging when you move to the large grid. By default, races have time limits (which can be turned off) and if you fail to paint the other guy into a corner he can’t escape then you’ll wind up with a Draw when the clock runs down. This means that, in order to win, you need to turn up the road rage and really go after the other bikes which can be pretty fun.
Pankaku also built a two-player game mode into LightBike which is a great idea. You literally play head-to-head with two players controlling LightBikes in a split-screen format on the same iPhone. Unfortunately they made it so that you’re not just playing against a friend – you also have computer players to contend with. The result is pretty disappointing because, when one of you crashes, the surviving player continues to race against the computer players. What are you gonna do, sit there and battle the comps while your friend waits around for the next race? Nope. You drive your bike off the edge of the grid so you can both race again! The good news is that this problem can be easily fixed by making computer opponents optional in two player mode, so I hope Pankaku puts that on their update list.
Also included in the paid version of LightBike is a WiFi mode where you can have up to four players (two devices, two players) in the same race. As some of you already know, I have no friends so I couldn’t test this out, but I do like the idea.
This app plays well with the iPod which is cool and the gameplay is fun and simple, so my only complaint about LightBike is the sound effects. The existing sound effects and retro-techno soundtrack aren’t terrible, but it would be so much cooler if the bikes sounded like the ones in Tron! This is strictly a style thing so don’t let it discourage you from getting the game, but cooler-sounding bikes would just make the game that much better.
Pankaku will soon be releasing a new version of LightBike that allows for internet-based multiplayer games which sounds like a blast, and until then this game is selling for $.99 which is a very fair price. I don’t know what the regular price is… $1.99? …but this is a fun racer that’s worth picking up.