Let me get straight to the point: I absolutely love the Bike Rider games. The original Bike Rider was one of my top eShop games of 2012 and, yes, the sequel, Bike Rider DX2 Galaxy, is also one of my top eShop games of 2013. Wanna know why? Keep reading :)
At first glance, it looks like a simple game; you control a stick man on a bicycle and you guide him from the start point to the end-level flagpole (a throwback to Super Mario Bros.) whilst avoiding obstacles, jumping over gaps, and jumping on platforms. Additionally, there are 3 golden coins to collect in each stage. Although controls are limited to jumping using the A button and adjusting your speed using the d-pad, they are precise and responsive so how well you do will depend strictly on your skills and reflexes rather than luck.
The game has two main modes: Galaxy Tour and Grand Prix. In Galaxy Tour, you’ll be visiting planets themed around the zodiac signs. There are 12 planets to visit and 5 stages within each planet, giving you a total of 60 stages. What I really loved is the developers’ interpretation of the zodiac signs. For example, in Taurus, you’ll be cycling through what appears to be the Grand Canyon with buffalos in the background. In Aries, you’ll be soaring through a sky full of clouds and sheep. The stages are colorful, well-designed and a treat to the eyes. Grand Prix is essentially an endless runner where you can choose between normal and hard difficulties as well as the stage theme. You can also see how your high scores stack up against other players via the online leaderboard.
Like its predecessor, Bike Rider DX2 comes with a number of power-ups that gives your cyclist different abilities for a limited period of time. For example, the drill power-up allows you to abolish blocks in your path to gain access to different routes and confined golden coins. Power-ups are a lot of fun and are sufficiently and cleverly used throughout the game. However, I wish there was a way to select a power-up before a stage begins rather than being given one during the stage. It would have been interesting to see how different power-ups would fare in stages where they don’t belong.
Another area where the game shines is its soundtrack. The music is upbeat and full of energy. If I had to describe it, I would say it is a mixture of pop, techno, and trance. I did like the fact that music continues and does not reset when you fail and have to restart a stage. This ensures a more fluid experience.
As mentioned earlier, there are 3 golden coins to collect in each stage. With many stages having multiple paths to choose from, you will no doubt have to replay stages to collect all three coins. Additionally, you receive a rank based on how well you perform in each stage. For example, if you manage to collect all 3 coins but still use the d-pad to vary your speed, you will receive a silver medal. The key to getting a gold medal is to collect all 3 coins and not use the d-pad at all. This may sound easy but is, in fact, quite challenging. You will have to suppress your urge to speed up or slow down when you think you’re about to fall into a gap or crash into an obstacle. Again, it sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Finally, the game has an abundant amount of achievements known as awards. Completionists will need to replay stages a number of times in order to unlock all the awards. Overall, I would say the replay value is extremely high and should keep fans looking for a fun yet challenging 2D platform experience immersed.
I would say that Bike Rider DX2 Galaxy does a lot things right – from gameplay, to stage design, to music. I can’t really find any faults with it and anything I would say would probably come off as nitpicking. If you are fan of 2D platformers, I would say go ahead and pick this up for $2.99. Trust me, you won’t regret it. If you enjoyed the first Bike Rider, there’s no doubt that you will love its sequel. So what are you waiting for? Go download it now :D