I’m sitting up in the wee hours of the morning in Sydney, Australia, as I write, and suffering from some sort of inverse jetlag, so this review mightn’t make much sense. But know this: Lane Splitter is good. Really good.
In Lane Splitter, you use the iPhone’s accelerometer to control a dude on a motorbike, and the aim is simply to guide him through traffic without hitting cars or walls. Easy.
When you pick up Lane Splitter for the first time, you’d be forgiven for thinking the game is a bit dull. See, what Lane Splitter fails to mention initially is that tapping the screen makes the dude pull a wheelie.
And pulling wheelies is fan-furging-tastic.
Hurtling along on one wheel gives you a sweet speed boost, but it also makes the accelerometer controls mega-sensitive. As such, you have to be sensible and abort your wheelie as soon as you sense that you’re losing control, which is easier said than done.
I’m aware that I’ve now spent several paragraphs writing about wheelies, but they really are great. My record is a terrible 7 seconds, but those short seconds were among the greatest of my life. Slight exaggeration? Maybe. But only a slight one.
The game is split into different subsections. You start off cruising on a road through the beach and quickly move on to a tunnel. Later there’s a nice snowy mountain.
Incidentally, Lane Splitter looks awesome. It adopts a kinda top-down 3D viewpoint, which works perfectly.
Sadly the sound is a bit lacking. There’s the roar of your motorbike’s engine and occasional horn blasts from passing cars, but that’s pretty much it. Fortunately, you can play your own music while screaming along. Crank up “Welcome to the Jungle” and you’re onto a winner.
The scoring encourages gutsy manoeuvres, such as the aforementioned wheelie-ing, and “lane splitting”, which entails driving between adjacent cars. All great fun.
The App Store explains that: “Jake Melton has made a lot of mistakes in his life, but missing his wedding won’t be one of them.” I’m not sure why that back story isn’t actually incorporated into the game, but how cool does Jake Melton sound? I demand to know more about him.
Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and practise my wheelies. The developers have announced that they’re introducing a high score table, and I need to be at the top.
- Jake Melton
- The wheelies
- Looks great
- Wheelies are addictive
Summary: Lane Splitter is great. Just try putting it down after your first few wheelies. I dare you.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: 59p @ App Store