If a game would be rated merely on the presentation of the start screen Rock(s) Rider would score really well.
Sadly that is not how it works when it comes to reviews, and a game where the most interesting feature is the animations and style of the start screen has quite a few problems. Rock(s) Rider, or Let’s Rock and Ride is a trial bike game lodged somewhere in the middle of realism, and arcade antics. This lack of proper identity hurts the game quite a lot; especially when the physics are weird no matter what kind of game it tries to be.
I have managed to get my bike stuck quite a lot of times without being able to back out, or even fall off and crash. Just look at the first screen capture, and you will see me stuck with my back wheel in what can only be an unrealistic position. The rider shouldn’t be able to hang on for long, or want to hang on either for that matter. There are a lot of these strange bugs that kind of feel spawned from not wanting to commit to being a trial racer, or a trial trick challenger. Just making jumps is hard from a still position is hard, and you aren’t supposed to be able to. At the same time there are obstacles that have to be climbed in such a manner.
Another huge problem is the zoomed in view that makes it impossible to plan ahead. If this was a racer I would have deleted it right away, as I don’t want to memorize tracks with this amount of jumps, loops and obstacles. Further annoyance is caused by the attempts to create a 3d world by adding parallel layers of beams. These obscure the rider, and the layer currently raced on. Too many times I am confused about where I will land after a huge air.
Not all is bad with this game, but the most important aspects are. The graphics are ok for both the levels, and characters. Sure the rider feels kind of pasted together using different parts where the edges kind of shows. The soundtrack is powerful rocking that would suit a more arcade racer better. Now it adds to the confused nature of the game, which is a shame as it sounds quite good.
The controls are good, and responsive with a lot of different options for layout. This is something I must applaud the game for. Still the controls can’t save the fact that there is so much the rider can’t do due to limitations in the actual game and physics engine.
Rock(s) Rider feels unfinished at heart with a lot of fancy stuff layered on top. After hitting the head of the rider twenty times in a row without realising that the obstacle was obscured by a beam in another layer I had to conclude that I wasn’t having any fun at all. And that is kind of the point, isn’t it?