Juan over at SwitchWatchTV has reviewed Lonely Mountains: Downhill, a brutal cycling game that will test your patience as you traverse down a mountain. It is a fun, little game that will challenge you in many ways, and it is definitely one of those games that makes you say, “Just one more try!” Check out his video review below, or you can continue reading it here on SwitchWatch.co.uk.
How you doing everyone Juan here with another review of Lonely Mountains: Downhill releasing two today so if you have not checked out Spirit of the North the link is in the pinned comment and description. Let’s jump straight into the gameplay and break this game down.
Essentially this game is as simple as it gets. Get on your bike and ride down the mountain trails as fast as you can sounds simple right, wrong. You see first of all you have to become acquainted with the control of the bike which by the way is absolutely spot on tight and intuitive which is great for a fast pace game like this.The analog left stick is used for a full 360 motion not just for left and right or up and down, like a twin stick shooter you point the bike where you want it to go and it will. It took me a good few minutes to get used too but once I did it felt as natural as can be.
You begin with a mountain track but first of all, all you need to do to unlock the timed challenges is explore your way down nice and slow or fast if you like and as long as you reach the bottom finish line you will unlock the timed section and that for me is where all the fun begins. Each mountain you unlock has a bunch of trails for you to explore first and then ride down fast after. It’s an excellent way to cater for the casual and the more hardcore.
The race to the bottom is broken down into checkpoint timed sections and this works superbly well because if you crash you restart at the last checkpoint and the timer will reset from that particular point. For example if you reach check point 1 and that took 30 seconds that will stay recorded meaning you can put your all into the next section without worrying that it’s going to wipe out all your previous good work. This means you can really take risks in each section and explore short cuts which is what it’s all about if you want to shave off those precious seconds. I was quite proud of making the top 6 in some of the tracks outof a 100 players already but now doubt when this is purchased by many then it’s going to be a real fight for top times.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is one of those where it has that 1 more go feeling, in fact I could not put it down. Each has a number of challenges ie beat the mountain if you are a beginner in a certain time or don’t crash more than a certain number of times in reaching the finish. Expert level will ratchet this up where you will need to really find the short cuts if you are going to beat the times which becomes difficult also in limiting the number of crashes.
Shortcuts will involve cutting down sides of mountains, jumping onto hidden ledges or finding a path through trees. Problem is too much air time and you are toast unless you unlock bikes with a better suspension, in fact once you unlock more bikes you can find the one suited to your play style.
The number of times I have probably sent my rider to his death was ludicrous but so much fun netherless and you learn from every mistake made making you want to better the ride the next time. My good friend Justin from Nindie Spotlite was saying how he would love a snowboarding version of this so developers if your listening the next one needs to have snowboarding.
There are number of customizations for both the bike and the rider which you can unlock the more you beat the challenges and there is even a night mode which you can unlock which is balls hard and I think was probably too much for my level but experts will lap this up. Tearing down the mountain is fast and exhilarating, the controls are simple, speed up, Break and maneuver your bike through the treacherous terrain. It’s you versus the mountain.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
I loved the visuals in Lonely Mountains. Yhey are simple yet depict the environments so well with it’s low poly look. The way it is brought together is honestly stunning. Nature is depicted beautifully here with beautiful rest spots which you can find and wonderful looking backdrops. How the colors are used to depict the autumn is gorgeous and riding through some trails with the wildlife like birds flying by is a sight to behold. I had to stop at times to just look at the gorgeous visuals. Luckily there are rest points to discover for just that.
For me it was the perfect design choice but the same cannot be said for the performance which is not perfect. Missed frames and stutters which should not hamper a game like this are a slight disappointment. The same was true on Ps4 and Xbox so it’s not a switch issue. However it was never enough to hamper my enjoyment of the game and only reared it’s head from time to time. The addition HD Rumble adds nicely to the feel of your bike on dirt.
There is no backing music which is quite refreshing, It’s you an nature, you will hear the bike against the dirt and the birds tweeting and I enjoyed it as it allowed for concentration. The crashes sounded great too.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is £18 $20 or 20 Euros and well for an indie it’s near the top bracket of pricing. I think personally it’s worth the money for the fun you have here. Once you have completed the challenges and unlocked everything then the thing keeping you coming back for more are those leaderboards. I would have been nice to have the option for some local multiplayer runs or maybe a co-op mode too. However as the game is just so playable I would not personally have an issue paying the price of admission, Some of you may want to wait for a sale but why wait when this is so good.
Story - 8/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Audio - 8/10
Visuals & Performance - 8/10
Value - 8/10
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a top game in every sense, The gameplay is top notch fun, challenging yet satisfying and you cannot beat the feeling when you make the perfect run. You will be playing this over and over to perfect your runs down the mountain trails and finding that perfect path. My only gripe is the performance at times and it would have been nice to have a few more modes. Otherwise though this is the perfect game for on the move quick blasts or at home fighting over the controller as to who’s go it is next. A very solid 8/10
- Framerate issues