Bike Baron

Bike Baron

Nobilility or not, it’s still a bloody good game

If the name ‘RedLynx’ means nothing to you, then the chances are you’ll think Bike Baron is the greatest game in the world. If it does, though, it should be pretty obvious that this stylish physics-based platform puzzle thing is a bit of a tribute.

Trials HD is one of the Xbox 360’s best downloadable titles, a game that slaps you down with one hand while beckoning you back with the other, and it’s clear that Bike Baron is born of the same noble blood.

But while the RedLynx title offers precise analogue control over your rider’s movement and speed, this provides significantly less control. On-screen buttons govern both acceleration and leaning, and although the fact the game was built around this concession to digital input is obvious in its level design, it’s hard not to yearn for a greater degree of control, especially as the challenge ramps up towards the latter stages. But whether you’re aware of its peers or not, Bike Baron is curiously addictive, with generous checkpoints and an on-screen retry button making even the toughest challenge seem possible. And when you learn to feather the buttons like a pro, it’s almost like you don’t need analogue control at all. Almost. With some kind of incremental control, this would be a must-buy.

But even as it stands right now, Bike Baron is a hugely addictive test of skill, balance and patience and its tougher stages are enough to test even the most experienced of gamers.

Rated 4 out of 5

A physics-based platformer that delights as much as it infuriates.