Review: Line Rider Freestyle - Nintendo DS

by Steven Williamson on 23 July 2009, 15:24

Tags: Line Rider Freestyle, Deep Silver, DS, Puzzle

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Flash-based game comes to console

What’s it about?
Line Rider started of life as a free-to-play PC flash-based game/creative tool designed by a Slovakian student in 2006. The basic concept of Line Rider is to draw a line, or series of lines, and tweak them around in order to create missing parts of a track so that a boy on his sledge can enjoy a smooth ride from ‘A’ to ‘B’ without fear of crashing. Videogame developer, InXile Entertainment, has now monetized the Line Rider concept and re-hashed it for a commercial DS release by adding some new features and game modes.

Line Rider Freestyle is essentially a puzzle game. Quite simply, you have to work out how to get your sled rider from the top of a slope to the bottom by filling in the blanks with your stylus to create jumps, ramps and loops. It may sound like a fairly simple task, but with 12 different line-types to choose from, including ones that slow your rider down or give him speed boost there's a lot to think about. In addition to picking the correct lines, you also need to edit them to produce the right angle in order to leap the blank gaps successfully. With physics playing a big role in proceedings, Line Rider provides a steep challenge from some tricky puzzles.

Line Rider boasts three game modes, including a Story mode that includes approximately 40 track puzzles which involve getting your sledge rider from one end of the track to the other in one piece, while collecting tokens and coins that unlock bonuses. Puzzle mode gives you access to an editing tool, where you can design puzzles and upload them via Wi-Fi for other gamers to download. And finally, in Freestyle mode, you can use the ‘freedraw’ tool to create your own tracks.

The PC version of Line Rider quickly became an Internet phenomenon spawning many fan-sites and user-created tracks (it even appeared in McDonald’s adverts.) Can the console version possibly live up to expectations and engage the DS community? Let's take a look...

Gameplay impressions...