Jul 8, 2013
I know, I know. Nothing stings more for Stateside folks than to find out that a hero that we all mostly adored did something that caused the entire sport of cycling to come under a lot of disrepute. But what better way to revive a love for the Tour de France by kicking butt all over again… albeit on a smart device?
Tour de France — The Game is a sim that aims to take us to the heart of the eponymous racing event.
The gameplay is somewhat reflective of what a relative layman like me knows about the the actual race it is based on, which is a multi-stage team cycling race that spans about three weeks and 2000-some miles. It even squeaks out of French borders on occasion. It is a true global event, and is such an honor to win that… well…
As team director, the job is to guide the team strategy for the duration of the race: sprints, different types of racing areas and more. There are several control buttons, but the developer does a decent job of using space well on the screen
Back to the gameplay:
I found it interesting that the game engine kept the racers in tight packs, just like we see it on TV. Some team racing knowledge would probably be helpful, but the 4-part interactive tutorial is great; it explains how to use racing concepts like group attacking and team specialization to win stages. The game also includes real tour mainstays like the winning of different jersey colors, and stuff like these are incorporated into the game’s achievement system.
I don’t know that much about racing, but I do think the game UI could use some tweaking with regards to the strategy; the opponents get right into it, and frankly, there were stretches that I thought the game could have limited sprints and factored in fatigue a bit better. Maybe I’m just being a bad sport.
This is yet another game that is deceptively addictive, and I liked it more than I thought it would. it presents an infinitely gentler Tour… one that we don’t have to fear to love.