Hipster City Cycle Review

Maybe you have to be a certain type of person to appreciate Hipster City Cycle. But, like the dude sporting an ironic mustache and drinking PBR in the corner of the bar, this confusing cluster-heap of a game is probably better off ignored.

Hipster City Cycle is a game about bicycling in an urban environment. Most of your time is spent tapping the screen to pump the pedals, trying to make it to the finish line before… what, exactly? You’re not racing against other bikers, so we’re not really sure what the point is. But along the way, you’re supposed to eat sandwiches from off the street, high five pedestrians, and avoid being hit by cars. It all amounts to a lot of tapping and tilting, but nothing resembling fun.

I hear pink is the new black.

Your performance on each “race” is measured by your speed as well as your style and skill– benchmarks that are never really explained. Doing well gets you lots of new ‘followers’– people you can invite to parties. Throwing a party does two things: it costs money, and it loses you all of your followers. In most games these would be bad things, but for some reason that’s what you’re supposed to do here. So, to throw more parties you have to get more followers by replaying the same environments over and over again.

Spend enough money on parties, and new environments open up. This is never explained anywhere– it’s just something that happens after you’ve endlessly replayed the first environment and thrown a few parties. Overall, not knowing what you’re supposed to be doing is this game’s biggest flaw. The tutorial tells you how to ride your bike, but it doesn’t tell you why you’re riding your bike.

Where’s the skinny jean store?

Unlocking new environments should be exciting, but in this game the only thing that changes is the graphics. You’re still dodging cars and bicyclists, trying to eat garbage and high five pedestrians. Making progress is a major grind, and the worst part is that there’s no real payoff.

Between throwing lifeless parties and engaging in repetitive bike rides, you can soup up your fixie by swapping out the wheels and body. Each selectable bike part has different specs (speed, stability, weight, coolness), but the interface is clunky, and none of the resulting bikes ends up feeling very different from the others when you get it on the road.

Hipster City Cycle is a well-intentioned dud. Before we can even come close to recommending this game, the developers need to clarify your goals and how to achieve them. As is, it doesn’t feel like a racing game or an action game, or any kind of game that anyone would want to play. It’s more of a boring, confusing jumble of parts that look and sound nice, but simply don’t gel.

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