Line Rider iRide
Line Rider is a decent way to pass some time, but the inability to use a stylus limits our creativity.
Line Rider quickly became an Internet phenomenon and a cool way to kill a few hours. Gamers throughout the world used this physics based program to create elaborate tracks with plenty of loops and attractive artwork. A healthy online community formed, as Line Riders uploaded their designs and downloaded others. Now the game comes to iPhone as Line Rider iRide, and while it's a functional pint-sized version of the smash hit, the inability to use a stylus kills the experience.
Unless you have a lot of time on your hands and a creative streak, Line Rider isn't enjoyable. Actually, it's not even a game per se. All you do is build a track and then set Bosh, a guy on a sled, loose. If you're good at it, you can construct ramps, loops and other cool things for Bosh to slide down and around. If you suck, then you just spent $2.99 to watch a dude with a scarf slide down a black line. It's about as boring as it sounds.
Artists, however, will enjoy making cool designs, and there are plenty of tools to get them started. There's the basic pencil that lets you draw in different colors, a line tool that allows you to place straight lines, an eraser, an Undo button that deletes the last line you drew and a Hand tool that lets you move the canvas in order to extend the track. In addition, you can enable Night Ride (it just changes the white screen black) and Gravity Tilt, which enables you to alter Bosh's direction by maneuvering the iPhone.
So here's the deal. Line Rider has touch screen controls that only work with our fingers. That's fine for drawing lines and simple shapes, but it makes elaborate sketches difficult. We tried using a stylus in the hopes of mimicking a pencil, but the iPhone cannot read it. This shouldn't be that big an issue for people with small fingers, but for us monster-fingered creatures, it limits our options.
We're also just not into Line Rider. People dig making tracks. We get it, but there's nothing fun about drawing a loop and then watching Bosh slam into a wall. The option to upload our tracks and download others is cool, but again, it all amounts to too much watching and not enough interaction.
Even if you love Line Rider, the inability to use a stylus makes it frustrating. We have no doubt that gamers will be able to come up with some grand ideas, but with so many enjoyable games out there, we just don't have the time or the patience.
What's Hot: Drawing options let us create elaborate designs, neat Gravity Tilt and Night Ride features, can upload our own tracks while downloading and rating others.
What's Not: Difficult to draw with our fingers, game is only as good as our imaginations and patience, can't use a stylus.