There are genuinely very few bike games that engage me properly. I’ve played a few in my time, but the first one I played, Mat Hoffmans Pro BMX, ruined the genre for me. But, there is hope on the horizon with FutureGrind. Instead of taking the tired old bicycle and trying to force it to do things that defy reality, the developers – Milkbag Games – have opted to redefine what a bicycle is, by creating a future with some ridiculously cool bikes to ride.
The future is now
Keeping on the point of the futuristic bicycles, some of the bikes in the game are phenomenally well created. None of them seem to be too similar, which really drives the story on. You’re never able to tire of a bike either, with it chopping and changing quite frequently. Each have their quirks though, with some being quite tricky to get to grips with, and others being a much more pleasant ride.
FutureGrind is also an exceptionally nice looking game. It’s not too over the top with detail, but it’s got enough to it, and it’s bright and colourful, which is always nice to see. There’s also a nice musical accompaniment, which aids the gameplay so much. The soundtrack is a component that could either make or break the game, and as with Mat Hoffmans on the PS1, it enhances it so much. Instead of having well known artists though, it’s got some incredible tracks that sharpen your focus and really help you get the platinum trophies you need.
I went into FutureGrind thinking it was just doing tricks along a few bars and progressing that way, but there is an interesting, intriguing story that makes you want to keep on at it. It isn’t told in huge bursts or anything, just short emails that you get sent at the start of each stage, but it was gripping enough to make me sit down and play through the game in it’s entirety as soon as I could.
The daily grind
My main issue with FutureGrind is that I played it on PC, and it feels like it’d be better suited to a console – particularly the Switch. I was also using the keyboard rather than a controller, which was probably a mistake on my part, but it just doesn’t feel quite as engaging. I didn’t feel I had the same level of control with the arrow keys as I think I would’ve had with an analogue stick. It also feels a little lightweight for £15. It isn’t overly difficult to get through the game quickly, and there isn’t too much to back up the story.
The Final Word
FutureGrind is good fun, and there are plenty of different bikes and levels to play through, each crafted really well. It has it’s minor issues, but generally this is a wonderful game, and well worth playing.