Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Line Rider 2

Line Rider 2 Unbound: Line Rider Unbound is a 2D racing/puzzle hybrid. Your job is to guide an adventurous little boy on a sled through a series of increasingly complex courses. You have no direct control over the daredevil, though. Rather, you have to fill in missing pieces of the track to get him safely to the finish line, battling physics and gravity all the while. The learning curve is crushingly steep in the early going, especially if you never tooled around with the original game. You are placed in a course then told to collect coins and finish the level, but there is little explanation on how to accomplish this feat. It will take a lot of experimentation before the mechanics click, but once they do, you’ll be happily curving lines to fling riders to seemingly unreachable paths or through dizzying loop-the-loops.
The visuals in Unbound are as simple as the gameplay, but they satisfy in surprising ways. Despite the cartoony aesthetic, the impact from a particularly nasty wreck is extremely gratifying. Riders exhibit a surprising amount of pain when they slam into walls and flip head over heels through a loop, which produces joy even when you’re struggling to solve a puzzle. The physics are also quite impressive; your rider will react to every bump in the road, quick change of speed, and ramp to nowhere with surprising realism. Though the trial-and-error nature of the puzzles is never eliminated, once you fully understand how your rider will react to obstacles, it makes the experience more predictable and rewarding.
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