Line Rider iRide is an extension of the web phenomenon that hit the scene a couple of years ago. What started as a simple application that simulated the physics of a guy surfing down a 2D track turned into… well, the same thing, but people have gone nuts with it. Take this video for example. I am in awe, and you probably are too. Keep in mind this was done on a PC, and iRide is the iPhone version of the Line Rider track creator. This has some obvious ups and downs.
- Simple and Easy to Learn
All there really is to do in this app is draw your track and hit play. Whether that’s a few swipes or a Herculean labor of love taking up hours of your time is up to you.
- Export and Share your Tracks
I think the main point of making an elaborate track is so others can see it and praise you for your genius. This is possible through iRide – just create an account with linerider.com and use the in-app exporter. This can all be done on your iPhone.
- Change it Up
Options like changing the colors to a night scheme and controlling the world’s gravity by tilting your iPhone add new dimensions to the gameplay (well, the latter does).
iRide is a mobile port of the full app, and as far as I know there’s not much missing. You can work with multiple different types of track, all of which can be passed through on at least one side. Regular track just lets gravity run its course. Acceleration track does exactly what you think it does. Scenery track is used to create lines that have no collision, which enables extra creativity.
At first glance I thought this was an incredibly simple app, but after playing around with it for a bit I began to appreciate some of the depth that’s possible here. It depends on the skill and dedication of the player. If you’re not great with visual and spatial things, you may be frustrated with trying to line up a jump. However, with some artistic skill and a knack for level design, you can create some amazing tracks like the one above.
I never got into creating Line Rider tracks, but having messed around with this app might get me there. Physics simulations are always fun, and the mix of control and limitations here make for a number of possibilities. I especially wonder about what a talented designer could do with the gravity feature – requiring players to tilt one way or the other at a certain point to affect the outcome of the ride.
The Bad: The touch controls are nowhere near as precise as a mouse, which may make it tough to make a truly incredible track on your phone. I was able to make a couple of decent tracks, but it took some finagling. While for some people this may become a mobile gaming obsession, for most the fun won’t last forever. If it’s not your thing it’s not your thing.
If you’ve got money to burn and are curious, give this a try. If you’re feeling a little more cautious, head to the Line Rider website and give it a test run – it’s free. Essentially you’re paying for portability here, and three dollars is just about the most I’d be willing to pay for it. All that said, this is Line Rider and it’s on your iPhone, so if you’re a fan then I’d be surprised if you didn’t have this already. I enjoyed it and look forward to making some more theme-based tracks when I get the time.