More Fun Racing Games to Play
Cyclomanics Epic – Perhaps the best stunt-based fun you’ll ever experience on two wheels
Bi-monthly Bi-wheeled Bi-ke Ride
How many wheels do you need to have fun? Perhaps you’re a novelty tandem cyclist that enjoys an excessive number of spinny things on your frame, or maybe a lover of tank games, though these technically aren’t wheels so much as they are tracks. Unicyclists only need one wheel to go about their craft, and they always look mightily jovial about their choices in life, when they’re not falling off and making damn fools of themselves, that is. No, my friends, I’ll stick to the two-wheeled kind of fun thank you, and my relatively inexpensive mountain bike will thank me for it. It’s not that I give two CFCs about the environment or that I’m that adamant about keeping fit, I just like a merry bike ride every now and then, and it’s the closest thing to an extreme sport I’m ever likely to have the courage to take part in. Cyclomaniacs 3: Epic is a game that follows the two-wheeled way of thinking, incorporating the bi-wheeled approach in a racing format that involves stunts, boosts, interchangeable riders, and an upgrade system; my, aren’t Longanimals and RobotJam such generous developers?
If you’re used to the Cyclomaniacs way of doing things, then you’ll know by now that the gameplay consists of a series of different courses that are split up into different levels. You’ll also know that you must race several computer-controlled opponents across these different levels, fulfilling various optional challenges as you, the completion of which rewards you with money. Your money can and most definitely should be used to upgrade your sweet ride in order to boost its performance and edge out more of your competitors in each race. I’ll tell you what money can’t buy, though, and that’s new riders for your bicycle, each with their own set of attributes that makes them better or worse than each other at riding; these fellows are unlocked by completing some of the challenges/fulfilling the challenge criteria in the levels. Oh, one last thing: you can do stunts, and they’re rather fun as well.
Rider or Bicycle Pilot?
Stunts you say? “Why did you not mention this before?” you ask in an utterly astounded fashion.” I was getting to that” I say, safe in the knowledge that this isn’t actually a novel with all of the grammatical constraints of one. Stunts are performed by using the direction arrows to make your bike do wheelies on the ground, pressing space or X to jump into the air, and using the left and right/A and D buttons to spin your bike when it is airborne. Up and down/W and S allow you to accelerate and brake. Performing stunts allows you to fill your boost meter up, at which point you will travel much faster, but only temporarily, so you must make the most of the sudden boost of lateral motion by filling it with stunts or some brilliant bicycle piloting.
Not Astounded, But Far from Disappointed
This epic version of Cyclomaniacs didn’t blow me away as much as I’d hoped, but the various themed levels, the spot-on physics I’ve come to expect from this cracking series, and yet more new riders made the experience better than the game’s predecessor and delivered a race experience reminiscent of Whacky Racers. The most innovative touch is the displaying of each rider’s stats so that you can make informed decisions on whether to choose a particular one for a certain race, and while this may sound like an inclusion too simple to be described as “innovative”, this simple display was absent from the previous game and made it very inconvenient since you had to look for external sources to check out their stats. I’ll put my virtual neck on the line here and say this game is the best Cyclomaniacs title to date. Cyclomaniacs Epic: probing that wo wheels are better than one. And Four. And all other quantities.