Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I’m back on my phone looking for mobile games that I hope to enjoy. Sadly, I don’t always get to do that. This week I played Stick Stunt Biker 2 (what a mouthful, but it still isn’t as bad a name as some of the Dragon Ball Z games out there).
Stick Stunt Biker 2 is a 2-D racing game similar to one of my previous Time Wasters, Bike Race. Controls for the game are simple enough: tilting the phone tilts the character, touching the left side of the screen will cause the bike to brake and touching the right side of the screen will cause the bike to accelerate.
Levels in Stick Stunt Biker 2 are fairly difficult. Players can’t just fly through every level at full speed and hope luck prevails. Some of the levels required me to run through them two or three times to get a feel for what I was doing. Bike Race was all about speed and fast driving and while that still matters in Stick Stunt Biker 2, the game requires a lot more thought to play.
Like Bike Race before it, Stick Stunt Biker Two rewards player with stars based off of how quickly they complete courses. Three stars can be earned on each course, which can result in a lot of replay to get all the stars.
Also like Bike Race, Stick Stunt Biker 2 has a wide array of bikes that can be unlocked and used in game. Most of the bikes in Bike Race could be earned if players collected enough stars or did certain tasks in the game. Stick Stunt Biker 2 doesn’t follow this model. Most of the bikes can’t be unlocked simply by doing well in the game and instead must be bought with real money or can only be got after players have ‘Liked’ the game’s Facebook page.
Another problem I have with Stick Stunt Biker is the amount of ads in the game. I’m not blind to the business world, I realize that ads make people money, but Stick Stunt Biker 2 is a perfect example of when someone takes greed too far.
The game features banner ads at the top of the screen, as well as full-screen ads. The full-screen ads are what really get under my skin. They can appear whenever the player dies, completes a level or is navigating through the game’s menu. The frequency of the ads is ridiculous and definitely needs to be toned down. Sure you can pay to have the ads removed, but this is mobile gaming. Mobile gamers would rather see an ad or two than pay for the game, but the amount here is too high.
Graphics in Stick Stunt Biker 2 are a little strange. The game has brightly colored backgrounds that are various shades of the rainbow. The foreground however is completely black, character and bike included. This art style did wonders for Limbo, but it doesn’t feel right here. Why would I even go through the effort of unlocking or buying bikes if I can’t even see how cool they are? Other games can benefit from the types of graphics, but Stick Stunt Biker 2 doesn’t.
The game’s audio is kind of strange as well. The main song that will continue to loop throughout the game sounds like a mysterious and spooky theme that would found on the opening menu of a child’s Halloween DVD. Not exactly what I think about when I picture racing bikes.
The bike’s engine is incredibly annoying to listen to. Most games go with a deeper, gruffer sounding engine when it comes to motorcycles, but Stick Stunt Biker 2 instead decides that it wants to assault all of its players’ ears with the constant sound of a weed whacker in use.
Overall, I think Stick Stunt Biker 2 is a little confused. The game has some challenging and enjoyable levels, but then it decides to hide itself behind loads of ads, a poor choice in graphics and audio that doesn’t feel like it belongs in a bike racing game.
Stick Stunt Biker 2 rides away with 2 Gin Gems out of 5.