Flash game aficionados are likely jubilant at the recent release of Line Rider 2 Unbound for the DS, and for good reason. Line Rider 2 Unbound takes everything that was great about the flash game Line Rider, improves it and then makes it portable. It is the kind of game you can play for three minutes or three hours, a definite rarity, and it is perfectly suited for the DS hardware. It is also the kind of title that appeals to different audiences, all at once.
The Story mode is probably the best place to start for Line Rider beginners. It acts not only as a tutorial, but also provides a foundation that will help you when creating your own tracks in the Freestyle and Puzzle modes. The whole first act of the Line Rider 2 Unbound story mode deals with the basics. It teachs you how to use the normal, fast and slow lines and how to create a jump. After that, the puzzles get progressively more challenging and intense.
A highlight of Story mode are the cute animated cutscenes that deliver the saga of Bosh the rider. Bosh, beloved racer, beats Chaz in a race, despite Chaz cheating to make things difficult for Bosh. So Chaz decides to steal Bosh’s admirer/girlfriend Bailey and his sled. Bosh then must set off to save the day by sledding through challenging courses to reach Chaz. The best part is that many of these cutscenes feature classic Looney Tunes style visual gags. This fits in perfectly with the reaction of the rider Bosh when you don’t find the solution to a puzzle and he goes rocketing off the track or falling to his doom.
Freestyle mode is probably the most entertaining aspect of Line Rider 2 Unbound, and most likely the main reason people will be buying the game. This mode is basically a glorified version of the Line Rider flash game everyone adored, only with new line options, a new drawing scheme and trick options. There’s something satisfying about creating and recreating tracks, trying to find the best possible course. Or, perhaps, creating a track you think is perfect, only to see the poor Rider burn-out.
Also satisfying is the Puzzle Mode, which allows you to create your own puzzles, like the ones created by TechDawg and found in the Story Mode of the game. Like Freestyle, it offers complete and utter freedom to do practically everything you want. Advanced Line Rider players will be entranced by this new option.
A huge plus is how simple it is to just create a track. The top screen describes the modes and tools you’re using. The bottom screen has icons for a the line drawing, erasing and copy/pasting tools. The top has a menu button to save, exit, trash what you’ve created, change the music, add stamps or change layers. Since everything is perfectly placed or drawn using the stylus and touch screen. Its practically effortless to create a track.
There is a downside though – there’s no track creation tutorial. So our first few tracks might be a but anti-climactic. The best way to learn how to create elaborate runs is to first download some tracks from the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. See what other users have done that worked, and then use these concepts in your own track designs.
This brings us to Line Rider 2 Unbound’s ability to share your custom tracks with other users via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The only quirk is that you must create an account at the Line Rider website before you can start accessing Nintendo WFC tracks.
But, the setup process is very quick and simple. Once its done, you can download tracks, and you can also go to your page at Line Rider.com to see what you’ve uploaded so far. You can also see how many rides you’ve been on.
So while the internet portion may seem a bit cumbersome to set up, it ends up being worth it when you go to the site and see what you’ve created and downloaded, and what people think of your tracks. Its an interesting extra feature to have, and works well. In fact, it is an additional selling point for an interesting game.
The thing is, Line Rider 2 Unbound is a very versatile title. You can spend hours or minutes playing it, there are multiple play options, it makes good use of the DS hardware and it has endless replay value thanks to user created options and the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Its even just fun to download tracks created by other people and watch them in your spare time. It is one of those games that is just a simple pleasure and never gets old.
Images Courtesy of Genius Products, Inc.