Just you and your bike – take it on a thrilling ride down an unspoiled mountain landscape. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash – all the way from the peak to the valley!
The oversaturated indie market is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, creators fight for attention and exposure, shoulder to shoulder with the next ‘me too’ title. On the other hand; it is easier to stand out and make an impact should you have something a little different and remarkable.
Lonely Mountains does just that. A game with a simple premise, executed remarkably well. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything. And from the first shared screen shot indie developer Megagon Industries had the audience in their pocket.
Lonely mountains: Downhill is a single player Mountain biking action game where, at your own leisure, you make your way down a precarious mountain, managing your accelerator and brake to traverse entertaining courses.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a media demo and spend some time shredding the mountain. And though the game is early in development, it’s quite clear that it brewed up a winning formula.
There are 2 key hooks at play here:
The visuals are the first. Low poly is nothing new, in-fact I’d say it’s utterly played out, with the past 3 years seeing a prevalence for low poly modelling in the indie market (partially due to the more accessible / cost effective nature of the technique). However, it’s the texturing style and attention to detail that brought Lonely Mountains low poly models into a fresh new light.
The theme of biking is the second and very powerful Hook, you see, they tapped into a niche gaming genre. But a hugely popular real world obsession. Biking/ cycling / mountain-biking, people love bikes!
The die hard fans of biking who happen to play games will become instant fans, as there just aren’t many, if any, games that cover this sport. The last time I played a biking game was probably the BMX stage of California Games on the NES.
Game Design, and by that I mean the level design, is the glue that binds it all together. Though I have not played enough of the game to give an accurate account of the game design, it played well – capturing the essence of the ‘Easy to learn, but hard to master’ philosophy. I wiped out a stack of times, in-fact the first few corners snagged me at least a dozen times. But I was learning, and more importantly I was having fun.
With that said, the gameplay mechanic is a simple one; steer, brake, speed up. There were no tricks that I could see, or any advertised ‘advanced techniques’. It’s up to the player to form their own strategies, and decide how they choose to approach each track – essentially play it safe, or fly off the edge of the chicane.
Unsurprisingly they have reached their Kickstarter campaign goal with days to spare. Now is a perfect opportunity to be part of this project and reserve yourself a copy at a backers price.
Megagon Industries have also made available a 1 minute demo through their website, so do check that out!