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Descenders is a game about extremely brave bicycles


Like most people, I don’t like falling down the stairs, so the prospect of falling down a hill or a mountain seems absolutely terrible. Incredibly, some people find falling very entertaining and they strap skis or boards to themselves expressly for the purpose of throwing themselves down slopes.

Descenders [official site] is the new game from the creators of butt-sliding action racing game Action Henk, and it’s all about falling down procedurally generated hills while attached to a bicycle. The announcement trailer, which you can see below, shows a bicycle jumping over a train and has a first-person section in which the bicycle is being attacked by trees. I might be scared of falling in real life, but I would happily fall down these digital hills.

These bicycles should not be driving around at night, especially not if they’re going to drive around procedurally generated dangerzones. It all seems terribly irresponsible.

They’re doing it for street cred, of course, called ‘Rep Points’ here. The whole point is to impress whichever of the three in-game teams you belong to while making the others look like fools. The teams form a sort of social hub, where you can hang out with friends, practice your riding and stunt-crafting. Descenders is driven by a freestyle control system and a “fully-fledged physics system”, which presumably means I’ll be able to spin around in mid-air and then crumple into a heap precisely in the manner of my choosing.

Descenders, which is coming to Steam “soon”, will be the first game published by No More Robots, a new label founded by Manchester’s own Mike Rose, formerly of games journalism and tinyBuild. I can only assume this means my city is on the verge of becoming a new indie powerhouse. There’ll be a 24 Hour Party People about the Manchester games scene one day. Steve Coogan will play Ocean Software.

Final thought: does anyone else remember Motocross Madness 2? If Descenders is half as much fun as that notable bike crash simulator, it’ll be a fine thing.

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Adam Smith

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