Bike or Die!
|Stable release||2.1b / 2009-03-10|
|Operating system||Palm OS iOS|
|Website||Bike or Die! official homepage|
Bike or Die! is a trial bike game for Palm OS and iOS devices by Toyspring. It was released in 2004 for Palm OS devices, and in 2008 for iOS devices. Players try to ride a bike with simulated physics, to collect flags as quickly as possible. Bike or Die! allows players to submit their replays to Toyspring's server.
Bike or Die! has had several major updates since it was first released on July 12, 2004. The 1.4 update, released in October 2006, included several new features such as the updraft and ghost bike. The 2.0 update, though while optional to continue playing, contained many new 3D effects and upgraded graphics.
The Hall of Fame competitions started with only twenty-five levels, which were built into Bike or Die!. After people began to redistribute their levels on the internet, levels by players slowly began to be added to the Hall of Fame, starting in September 2004. By March 2005, several hundred levels were available, so instead of using levelpacks made by a single person, compilation packs with levels made by several designers became a standard. However, this trend was not entirely true, as the thirteenth levelpack, BikeForce was primarily created by the user PiNerd.
Gameplay involves using the Palm's keys to control the movement of the biker. The player must guide the biker through all of the checkpoint flags, if there are any. The level is completed when the biker reaches the finish flag; if there is no finish flag, then the biker only has to pass the checkpoints. In each level, there are usually obstacles and challenging terrain that will cause the biker to crash and fall off the bike. When this happens, the player must restart the level. A player crashes when they either run into mines, which can be randomly or strategically placed in the levels, or when the biker's body hits the ground or a wall. Later version introduced sticky and slippery surfaces, along with portals, which are quite difficult to work with, but produce interesting results. All of these features are supported by the level editor, Bike or Design. The bike is very springy and can wheelie, flip, or do jumps. However, if the bike has too much force when hitting an object, the bike will go through the ground, the biker will crash, and the level must be restarted.
Gameplay progresses through a levelpack, which includes a number of levels. Only the first two levels of each pack are available to be played; to access more, one of the prior two levels have been beaten. Bike or Die! comes with 25 levels, and additional levels can be downloaded from the Bike or Die! web site. 163 of these levels are currently in the Time Trial competition. Most of these levels were made by players, and selected for the Time Trial by popular demand. Levels are occasionally added to the Time Trial in groups of 10-16 levels. Levelpacks usually consist of about 15 levels, but packs range from three to over 100 levels each.
IGN rated version 2.0 of the iOS port of Bike or Die 2 as "decent". The game's value for money, range of visual options and large number of player-created levels and was praised. The trial-and-error gameplay was criticized, due to the "floaty" physics of the bike and the frustration of having to restart a level after making a mistake. It was observed that slow, patient problem-solving is required to progress, rather than the speed required in other racing games. However, less than a month after the IGN review, Bike or Die was updated with a new "Save and Resume" feature that allows a player to restart the level from a previous save point so that they do not have to start a level from the beginning each time they die. This was done to reduce the frustration that newer players felt.