Pedal to Victory! The CycloManiacs 2 Game Review
Featuring all new tracks, more inventive races and a whole cast of unlikely bikers that will make you want to see all the tricks they can do, CycloManiacs 2 game is the ultimate in side scrolling bike action - and we are not kidding around.
The game starts off pretty tame, providing you with an Elvis impersonator propped up on a basic bicycle setup; it is going to take plenty of practice and a few retries before new players manage to get first place in the very first race. Thankfully, the game only requires you to get a 4th place ranking, making it easier to earn the stage reward. Do so and you can progress to the rest of Ninja World.
Welcome to Ninja World
At this point, you are probably wondering: "what on earth are you talking about?". CycloManiacs is a simple, easy to play, 2D Flash racing game featuring an assortment of bikers. The game rewards players for finishing courses fast and for performing bike stunts. In between in race, you have the option to upgrade your basic specs in order to perform better. Aside from that, finishing certain races and meeting certain requirements will unlock a vast array of secrets ranging from new courses, more players and even unlocking mini games.
Speaking of secrets, this game has plenty of Easter eggs6. Almost each race track has a hidden ice cream collectible and the intermission lobby has plenty of hidden mini-games and freebies for you as well.
Ninja World, is actually the name of the giant compound that hosts all the tracks for the CycloManiacs races, there are over 25 different tracks and each with their own unique requirements for finishing the race. Others simply require you to reach the finish line ahead of the competition, others such as the Half-Pipe will require you to finish 30 stunts before you are able to reach the end goal. There are some that have a set time limit within which you must finish the course. It is challenging, fun and ultimately quite addictive. Ninja World's varied courses and gameplay features will keep players coming back for more bike racing rounds every single time.
Not for Longevity
While we did say that this game is addictive, it does have its downsides, and one of the biggest is the fact that it is tiring to play. CycloManiacs, for all its fun, leaves you on the edge of your seat for most of the races -add that to the very mindful bike physics controls and you will find yourself a little tired after just a few races. Thankfully, this flash based browser game auto saves any progress so you can easily shut it off and come back at any time. Also the highly repetitive music also gets a little annoying after a while - despite the fun and upbeat background music, this game could have used a few extra tracks.
All in the Pitch
As complicated as stunt biking may be in real life, everything has been turned down a notch in order for us computer-players to join in on the fun. The game accepts both WASD and cursor keys for controlling the bike. Pressing Up or W accelerates, down or S for reverse and the left and right keys (or A and D) for pitching the bike nose up or down. Naturally, pitching all the way down in midair will roll you forward and pitching all the back rolls you backward.
The stunts are basically how much pitch you give. Forward pitching on the ground will allow you to do a front wheelie and a back wheelie for pitching up. Mid air, rolls are pretty much the same concept. This leaves only three other tricks: ticktack, invert and air. To get the ticktack trick, you must pitch the nose up, down, then up again. Doing so over and over will earn you consecutive ticktack trick awards. For invert, you must simply stay midair in an upside down position (do not forget to fix your position before you land or you will crash). Lastly, to get the air bonus, simply stay midair for a long period of time (and do other tricks while you are at it).
The Rider's View
Right off the bat, this game is a much recommended for anyone who wants to have a little gaming fun. Nothing too long term here, but for a casual game title, the fact that you can keep coming back, earning more and upgrading your bike is already a big plus. Not to mention all the unlockables that help keep the gameplay fresh and fun.
In terms of graphics, the game is pretty much solid, but still feels a tad bit amateurish. There is something about the game that still screams of old-school Flash from head to toe but then again, that may simply be how the developers wanted the game to feel. In any case, CycloManiacs sure could have used a bit of a graphics overhaul from the previous version.
The courses themselves are easy to understand, the tracks are easily distinguishable from the rest of the backgrounds and the strategically positioned map on the lower edge of the screen allows players to scout ahead for massive jumps, falls and other things they will need to maneuver across.
The music for the game is pretty fun to listen to -for the first 5 minutes, afterwards, everything sounds like it has been left on loop. It does make one feel a little dazed after listening for more than an hour non-stop, so we suggest clicking off the music and simply keeping the sound effects on.
In terms of presentation, CycloManiacs 2 game does need a bit of help. Fortunately, the gameplay does more than manage to compensate -it provides a compelling and driving factor that will get back on the pedals just after you swear you played your last course.
To sum things up...
For a game with its humble beginnings, CycloManiacs 2 shows that it is possible for a flash game to be successful enough to warrant a sequel. It improves on all the elements that made the first game a success and at the same time, it provides plenty of new content for new and old fans alike. We particularly love the fact that it has so much hidden content sitting right under our noses the moment we started to play it, we were as eager to find out as many secrets as we could as much as we wanted to start the bike race. For its gameplay alone.
Need help completing CycloManiacs 2? check out our walkthrough.