Had I been younger, and perhaps less cowardly when it comes to bodily harm I would definitely see myself getting into tall bike jousting. I had never heard of it before Tall Bike Joust emerged into the App Store. Basically it is jousting but instead of horses the combatants use customized bicycles. The lance is non-lethal made of PVC pipes instead of wood and metal.
In Tall Bike Joust you control the speed of the bike by swiping downwards on the left and right part of the screen. This is supposed to emulate actually pedalling, and I am having a hard time seeing the speed difference between quick and slow swiping. You aim your lance by tilting the device, and once your aim is to your satisfaction you simply touch the screen. At least that is how you are supposed to play Tall Bike Joust. I am having real difficulties in actually getting the aiming circle to turn green for maximum impact. Yellow is the best I can manage, but most of the time it never changes from red. This makes the game feel random. The touch controls demand both hands to play, and I would really like to have some alternative to the current control scheme.
The main mode lets you progress through harder opponents in 7 different tournaments set in six different locations. You choose the order you tackle the first rounds of a tournament. Each rider has got different stats for power, heart, speed and guard. You also get to develop your own character in these four abilities. Once you complete a tournament you unlock the next, and the goal is to beat the real life champion Doyle.
Something I really enjoy in Tall Bike Joust is the bicycle customization, and you get to build a personal freak bike. New parts are won, and you get material by recycling stuff you don’t need anymore. Parts degrade as you use the bike in battle, and you have to make sure to keep the bike in good condition. The rider can also get new items such as goggles, and a better quality lance. This aspect of the game is a game within the game getting the most out of the limited resources you have.
Graphics are ok, but the locations feel really barren, as there are no spectators. The intro movie shows people milling around the bikes much in the same way as around illegal street racing events. In the game it is just you and your opponent, and the social aspect of tall bike jousting is left out. The fonts used in the menus feel dated. Most of the riders look the same with just a minor haircut difference, and all of them look bored when I guess they are supposed to look tough.
The music is electronic/chiptune with good drive and power. I like it, and it suits the game quite well. Nice to not have the ordinary semi hardcore music found in all other extreme sports titles. Sound effects are ok, but I would really have liked some voiceovers such as taunts.
OpenFeint is used for achievements, adding some extra gamelife to Tall Bike Joust. I would loved to have more information within the game about the sport such as bios, and tips on how to get started jousting.
Tall Bike Joust has got some issues with the controls, and lacks connection to the social aspect of the real life thing. It is good fun customizing, and winning new parts for your bike but it is not enough to compensate for the flaws in the main game. With some updates to the game polishing the graphics, adding new controls schemes the game might become a game to get.
Tall Bike Joust $2.99
Seller: Fountainhead Films Inc.