Stunt simulator games probably fall into a very niche market of games. While they’re meant to be fun, engaging and challenging, not everyone will appreciate the game for what it is. Games like Joe Danger and Tony Hawk Pro Skater are proof that you can have a difficult, quirky and stunt-filled game that’s a joy to play. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Toy Stunt Bike.
The game kicks off pretty much when you click start. There’s no proper menu to speak of, the game quite simply jumps right in. The first thing you get to do is select the level you want to play. The only stage that will be open is the first one, but you’ll have access to the five levels within it. There are a total of 12 stages, each with five levels to complete. Each level has three trophies for you to obtain. That’s pretty much how the progression works. Now, onto the game.
You play a little toy motorcyclist and you need to race from the one end of the room to the other, while performing various stunts and avoiding obstacles. It sounds easy, but it’s really not. Performing stunts, like endos, wheelies and flips are easy to figure out, but take very long to master. The basic controls are: left and right, which are used to raise and lower the front section of the bike; A to accelerate; B to stop and reverse; and the right shoulder button to suicide. The hard part comes in when you need to actually perform the stunts.
I failed miserably all the time while trying to do a simple wheelie. Lean too far back and accelerate a little bit too much and you flip over and die. Lean too close to the ground and you risk not increasing your score. Considering that one of the trophies depends on a high score, this should be made a little bit more realistic. It also becomes a massive bother when you need to jump over obstacles. There’s no jump button, so in order for you to move over objects, particularly objects that can’t simply be driven over, you need to sometimes reverse, pop a wheelie and use your momentum to get you over. If you haven’t figured out how to do it properly, then you could be stuck on that stage.
In some cases, practice and trial and error are the only ways you’re ever going to beat the stage. Like figuring out that the only way you’re going to reach the next platform is by flipping frontwards three times. And if you want to beat the stage with all three trophies, then you’re going to have to put in a lot of extra time. Like I said before, each level has three trophies, and unlocking them depends on if you’ve met certain criteria: Beat the level in a set amount of time, collected the three white flags and scored enough points.
I must admit that the levels do become more interesting in the later parts of the game. They are harder to master, but easier to figure out. Having said that, nothing else changes, you still need to move up or down to complete the level. It may look more interesting, but you’re not doing anything that’s really different or remarkable.
To add insult to injury, the game looks bad. The graphics are very basic and there’s practically no textures involved. Each room definitely sticks to its theme and although it’s recognizable, it’s just “OK”.
Then there’s the case of rage-quitting. I failed miserably in many of the levels, but there is one level in particular (stage 2 level 3) that I cannot complete. Each time I try, I slam the 3DS shut and I listen to music instead. And it happens all the time, or until you’ve figured out that you need to do 2 and a half backflips and hope for a little luck.
The physics, which should be its drawing card, is actually good. It’s pretty accurate when it comes to knocking into objects or bouncing off them, but try and balance your bike… good luck.
All in all Toy Stunt Bike is a bit of an underachiever and doesn’t really stand out as a game. There are better games on the market, so I can’t see this one having a big impact. The poor visuals and frustrating gameplay really lets this game down. If you do, however, enjoy stunt based games, there’s definitely a lot of game in this one.