Back in November I wrote about a pretty cool lil’ iPhone app/game that was in the works called Hipster City Cycle – Well, after a few more months of development it’s finally here!

It makes it’s debut in the App Store today, but Bikeridr got it’s hands on the app early so I’ve used the past few days to give it a go… I’m happy to say it’s lived up to my expectations :-D

From the site:

Hipster City Cycle is a pixel-art bike race adventure set on the iconic streets of Philadelphia.

Your mission is to liberate hipster Binky McKee from the shackles of employment, and help him achieve his humble dream of becoming a penniless cycling legend. Customize your fixie, and take to the streets as you daringly weave through downtown traffic, challenge rival cyclists, chow down on a few cheesesteaks, and track stand your way to city-wide fame.

If you’re at all a fan of retro gaming (think NES, SNES, Sega, etc.) you’re going to love this game. From the artwork to the gameplay to the soundtrack, Hipster City Cycle has a lot going for it. Although the gameplay is pretty straight forward, doing well is surprisingly challenging. Points are collected three main ways:

  • Speed – Pretty self explanatory. Essentially get to the end of each stage as quickly as possible.
  • Style – Perform tricks, collect power ups, charge your multiplier, interact with pedestrians, kick ass.
  • Skill – Efficiently dodge cars, potholes etc. (from what I could tell, anyway)

Perform all of these flawlessly and you’ll max out your points and collect throngs of followers.

Currently, there are four maps, each with multiple track lengths. Longer tracks are unlocked by completing the shorter tracks and the new maps are unlocked by blowing through your trust fund in an effort to help Binky “achieve his humble dream of becoming a penniless cycling legend.”

The maps themselves were lovingly recreated after the streets of Philly and although the inside jokes and landmarks may be lost on me, there’s no doubt that some serious care went into the construction of the artwork. I could definitely appreciate the textures and pixel perfection on each screen. As another neat little tidbit: a number of the pedestrian characters you see in the game are modelled after real people that were voted on during the development of the game – How cool would it be to be immortalized like that!

It’s kind of fun figuring out what the different power-ups do as well, whether they be subs, pretzels, cheesesteaks or ‘Bike Drink’ (apparently a play off Pabst Blue Ribbon), you can really make the levels as easy, or as complex as you would like. As you progress you also unlock different frame and wheel combinations so you can eventually customize your bike *almost* however you’d like :-)

If I’m being honest though, I would say that perhaps my favourite part of the game is the opening chip tune – I am a man of simple pleasures… Who knows, maybe they’ll offer it as a download or a ringtone (nudge nugdge, wink wink).

About the only part of the game that I felt needed a little work were the ‘party mechanics.’ Whenever Binky throws a party it just feels a little lacking – I’m sure they were focussing on making the main gameplay as tight as it could be (for which I’m thankful), but It would be nice if perhaps tilting the phone would impact the dancing party goers or if touching them elicited some sort of response, or even if Binky could learn dance moves as he progresses through the game or something… Who knows tho, maybe there are special things if you have massive amounts of party goers (so far my parties have been pretty humble ;-). A small quibble to be sure.

If you’re looking for a preview of the game and/or the gameplay you can check out their YouTube channel here.

So I guess if you’re into super fun, retro, pixel, hipster iPhone games (and who isn’t?!) then Hipster City Cycle is for you! A lot of fun and a cute homage to hipster culture, all yours for just $1.99 ;-)