By Alec Meer on August 27th, 2009 at 11:36 am.
Motorbikes? Had enough of those now, thanks. Noisy, smelly, deadly things. The humble pushbike is a far more noble means of transport, and one that the oddly austere, technical diagram-like Fig. 8 Ability Game captures rather beautifully.
No pedalling is required, which probably saves us from a tendonitis-inducing Daley Thompson’s Decathlon control set, but forward momentum is absolutely vital. As on a real pushbike, if you slow down too much or stop moving, you’ll fall over. Sadly a ‘stick out a panicked leg’ button is conspicuous by its absence, but never mind.
The simple act of forward motion and gentle exploration of the line-art city is pleasing enough in itself, as is leaving tyre-track doodles as you coast about, but if you crave challenge there are various score/combo systems to muck about with. I’d rather it wasn’t checkpoint-based if I’m honest, as being thrown way back after a minor collision got a little wearying after a time, but I can see why Intuition Games plumped for such an approach. Coincidentally, it reminds a little of Skifree, in both the expanse of white space and in the score/crash mechanics.
Fig.8 runs within a browser, but if you’re likely to be punished by sinister bureaucratic forces for playing it immediately, pray do enjoy this trailer in the meantime:
A charming and rather relaxing free time, with an excellent soundtrack, stumbled across via the redoubtable TIGsource.