Like many people, music forms a large part
of my life; something my eclectic collection of music ranging from 80s New Wave to modern
Gangster Rap can attest to. As such I love it when a game lets me turn my music in to
something visceral (such as in AudioSurf), which is why I had to give Tune Rider by H2indie
a try. There aren’t any real grandiose promises made
by the developer outside of being able to ride along with your music. This honesty has
in retrospect worked in the game’s favor as there really isn’t a lot to experience once
you jump in to the mix. After selecting a track, either from one of
the 9 free included tracks or from your library (this feature is only available via ‘premium’
In App Purchase) you’re presented with a runner, a black and white world and a bumpy line.
Given the right track (usually one with a strong beat) the generated path can show something
in common with what’s being listened to, but for the most part your speedy runner will
spend their time sprinting and smacking in to hills and valleys, sliding and jumping
of its own accord while you brake with a tap or jump with a swipe to avoid random musical
signs that act as blockades. These blockades are frequent and frustrating
and can quickly tank a run as it pops in from nowhere to knock you off your thin platform.
Constantly jumping can help, though this eliminates any sense of fun and strategy as you simply
spam your way to the end of a song. Coins can be collected, though they serve no purpose
at this time (the developer promises some sort of upgrade system in the future). Ultimately all you’re paying for with Tune
Rider is a fancy visualizer for your music, but the catch is that you may never actually
make it to the end of your song, so it’s a poor visualizer at that. For now Tune Rider
is more toy than game and it’s a shame as the concept has a lot of merit if it can be
paired with gameplay that’s as compelling as the wide range of music that can be plugged
in to it.