Lane Splitter Review

Lane Splitter Review

Sep 21, 2011

Speed kills, which is a painful lesson you’re about to learn. Lane Splitter is all about the high speed thrills of riding a motorcycle through heavy traffic with reckless abandon.

In this arcade racer, you get to choose between 2 different bikers of varying style (6 bikers total if you choose to purchase the upgrade pack). Completely different in appearance and choice of machine, the one thing they each have in common is a love of speed and a ruthless distaste for the law. At the start of each game, you take off on your bike and begin picking up speed. With the throttle wide open, your bike only goes faster, increasing the difficulty once the highway begins to fill with other vehicles. The goal is to go as long as possible while passing cars for extra points.

Steering is handled through tilt controls while stunts are performed by touching the screen. Each character performs a different stunt; some even have more than one. For example, one character can pop-wheelies, gaining a huge speed boost but losing all stability and easily crashing. Another character goes full-throttle when you perform his stunt. The danger here, however, is that he loses a lot of maneuverability, reduced to making slow, shallow turns. With reduced maneuverability comes the chance of riding head first into the back of a vehicle as you fail to turn in time. Of course, the increasing bonus for passing multiple cars in a row makes the risk worth the danger.

Smacking into cars is instantly fatal, as is going off the road. Skirting along the side is ill-advised as well, as it increases the potential for hitting a nail and becoming road pizza. Crashing results in a spectacular show as your character rag dolls along the ground. It’s painful to watch! Eventually, you come along traffic so congested that the only way to ride is straight down the dotted line between two or more cars at once. This is where the game gets its name, Lane Splitter. The longer you ride, the faster you go and the harder the game becomes.

Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the tilt controls. I appreciate the difficulty, as touch controls might have made the game too easy, but I’ve noticed they tend to lock-up. After restarting my phone and making sure nothing was wrong, it happened again, making it impossible to steer. Again, touch controls might have made the game too easy, but they would have been a welcome addition.

Lane Splitter has some terrific visuals with environments that change daily, and the recordings of real motorcycles sound great. The extra characters bring even more fun to the game through their look, design and gameplay.

Aside from my woes with the tilt controls, I found Lane Splitter to be extremely addictive. Once you get going, you don’t want to stop. After each crash, you just want to get right back on your bike and go again. Lane Splitter is one game you’ll definitely want to take on the road with you.


Lane Splitter Review Rundown

10
Graphics/Sound - Lane Splitter just looks great. The character design, artwork and graphics are fantastic, even tossing in environments that change daily. The recordings of real motorcycle engines sound phenomenal.
4
Controls - I'm just not a fan of tilt controls. Realizing that the tilt controls are meant to make up most of the difficulty and fun of Lane Splitter, I can understand not including touch controls. However, the tilt controls' tendency to lock-up on my phone was frustrating. It only happens once or twice per game, and usually goes away after a few seconds, but it really drags down the experience.
8
Gameplay - Highly addictive and fun. Simple, with plenty of challenge and different ways to build up your score which rewards risk and keeps you trying again and again.
8
Replay Value - The dynamic of traffic conditions keeps Lane Splitter from getting stale while the addition of characters with their own stunts and styles gives you a quick way to break from the norm. Posting scores to Facebook is a great way to get friends involved as you brag about your high score and increase the challenge.
7.5
Overall - Lane Splitter should not be missed. If you like the nature of auto-run games mixed with motorcycle racing and a huge risk/reward system, this game is going to suck you right in. The extra characters aren't free, but their different styles and stunts (not to mention the comedy factor of some of them) bring a lot more action to the game. Unfortunately, touch controls being what they are, it will take some getting used to and/or patience not to get frustrated. Still, it's worth it.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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