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Line Rider 2: Unbound

Score: 75%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Genius Products
Developer: inXile Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

Most people have heard of or have seen Line Rider in some form by now. There are youtube videos of insanely detailed tracks that actually function. And the game is available for free for anyone to play around with. Up until now that's what it has been: less of a game and more of a toy.

Line Rider 2 is a more robust application, with colorful backgrounds like icy caves, and an attractive menu system. There's a simple cartoon guy that replaces the stick-guy from the original Line Rider. During the Story mode, there are some simple CG scenes with him, too. Line Rider hasn't suddenly been transformed into a 3D epic adventure, but it has been given a bit of color to spice things up.

There is also music, but that's not new to Line Rider. What is surprising is that you can't customize your background music. If you still want that experience, you can go to the Line Rider website and play the original. If not, you'll have to be content with the odd selection of techno type tracks. Some are catchy, some just make me want to turn the sound off, but it could have been far worse.


Line Rider has been praised as a sandbox style toy that pulls the player along into wanting to create longer and more elaborate tracks. Of course, another big draw of the game was that it was free, so you'd expect a bit more in the boxed version. You do get a Story Mode, which is pretty much like a Puzzle Mode in which you have to draw the correct line to get the rider to finish the track. You also get the option to create your own puzzles, or just create freestyle tracks. When you're done, you can share your tracks with others online.

Line Rider 2 remains true to its roots and gives the player plenty of options for customization. In addition to the traditional track, you can now lay down speed track, slow down track, breakable areas, and tracks that trigger "tricks" just for fun.

If anything is wrong here, it's just the feel. Maybe it's just me, but the simplicity of the original game worked very well for it. Now you can see the rider's expression change from happy to sad, and he makes little remarks to the same degree. It just seemed funnier when you could fill in the blanks yourself, with a little stick figure guy being flung around the track at the mercy of your crazy track design.


Line Rider 2 does have puzzle areas and goal-oriented levels, so there is some difficulty when you're not in the Freestyle mode. The difficulty is limited by the fact that you only have to draw tracks within set boxes. If you were limited in some other way, say if you had to figure out how to get across a huge area with only a limited amount of track or tools, it would probably be a lot harder. The second difficulty with the Puzzle Mode is the fact that you can't use the line shaper tools to create smooth curves. You have to rely on a steady hand to lay down the right solution, which may not be easy for some.

Other than that, in the Freestyle areas of the game, you can be as tough on yourself as you'd like. It only depends on how elaborate you would like your track to get.

Game Mechanics:

In Line Rider 2 you create tracks, and send your little guy to see how well he can ride them. The menu system is big and bright, with large picture icons, but sometimes it seems to get in the way of the rest of the screen. It's not a big issue since you can easily move over to change your view, or zoom in or out.

There are lots of new options to take advantage of here, including the ability to manipulate background layers to create a 3D effect. As mentioned before, there is also a tool that assists you in creating smooth curves, much like the pen tool in graphics programs, along with several other simple graphics tools like a clip art stamp and fill bucket. And heck, there's even a font editor. If you're really into it, you can even share your fonts online.

The changes in Line Rider 2 may turn off fans who loved the simplicity of the original. Since you can still play the original for free, this game could be hard to justify as a purchase. There are multiple background layers, colorful graphics, and a new touch of "story," and new Puzzle Modes, so you are definitely getting something for your money. I'm still leaning toward the side of simplicity (and cheapness), appreciating what creativity can do with simple tools. This is, however, still a good game, and it's still Line Rider.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP, 2.0 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, 2.0 GB Hard Disk space, NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX 4400 64 MB video RAM, Direct X 9 compatible sound and video card

Test System:

Windows XP, 3.20 GigaHertz Intel Pentium 4, 4 GB Ram, RADEON X850, Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated