A Game A Day #5 - Hotline Trail

I have an innate fear of motorbikes. Basically, moving at a ludicrous speed protected by anything less than a titanium exoskeleton is not really my thing. Luckily, there’s Hotline Trail, which looks like what I imagine riding a bike at night in the eighties to be. Without the mangling crashes, natch.

It is an endless runner of sorts. You control the direction, while the throttle is controlled for you. And… that’s it. The procedurally generated road unwinds right in front of your eyes, piece by piece, with a soothing baritone announcing every turn before it appears. The encouragement to keep on riding stems from the wonderful aesthetic. At first, the minimalistic presentation may seem lacking, but as the mesmerising synths pull you in, you begin to appreciate the peaceful backdrop of the night sky and the swerving of the pulsating neon road. You begin to cherish the anticipation of silhouettes representing towns, mountain ranges and forests.

The downside is obvious - once you get bored with the single track contained within, as well as the limited amount of roadside landmarks, the magic is gone and there’s no turning back. So cherish the moments, and maybe even quit while you’re ahead.

Hotline Trail is a beautiful and serene experience. In some ways it is the antithesis of its genre brethren, games which thrive on urgency and a sense of danger. Wanting to endure here has to do with enjoying the ride rather than surviving. Go now. Ride with pride.


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