Hill Bill Review
Bike stunt games have been a common trend as Flash games, so it’s no wonder to see many of them on the iOS App Store. However, a lot of them barely stand out, as most of them feature a faceless protagonist with very loose physics on a bland obstacle course. Unlike Hill Bill, which allows players to take the role of Bill, a humble stunt biker with a charismatic Southern drawl, and demonstrate his death-defying feats in many different environments across the land, each divided into 10 stages.
At the beginning of each stage, the player will be allowed to survey the landscape of obstacles. In order to complete each stage, the player must jump off the first ramp and reach the other one without crashing into any other objects. Landing on anything but the second ramp will result in a wipeout. The player can set how far back they start and their speed by holding down the acceleration. This is important, because not all stages are the same length, and knowing how to vary the speed and distance from the launching ramp is important when determining the amount of time necessary to pull off stunts for the highest scores.
Doing tricks is where the game makes the most of the touchscreen controls on iOS devices. Before starting certain stages, the game will introduce a new gesture to swipe across the screen in order to perform a stunt. As each stage will grade the player with 1-to-3 stars based on how high their score is, doing as many tricks as possible without wiping out is integral to leaving the best impression. While stars are superimposed on Bill as the trick is performed, they don’t necessarily indicate that a star has been added to the given grade, which makes it unclear how high a score is necessary for the best grade. Doing so gives players more money to buy different costumes which merely have a cosmetic effect on gameplay.
While there are a variety of environments, they all largely play the same, with simply differing lengths. However, some obstacles are more difficult to render than others, lending some stages to frame rate issues, which in turn lead to unresponsiveness in the touchscreen. Getting through these stages can be frustrating, but the final levels are fortunately aesthetically plainer, leaving a better lasting impression.
+ Charming aesthetics
+ Quality audio
+ Neat control scheme
- Frame rate issues lending to unresponsive controls
- Little variation in game mechanics between levels
Like most iOS apps, Hill Bill asks very little and gives likewise in return. It could do with some more polish, which is something the developers should put into consideration as there are upcoming levels planned for the future. Unfortunately, as of now, there is little that makes Hill Bill any less than a chore to play through.