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.