Beating out Draw Something for the number one free app for iPhone this week is Bike Race.  It also currently holds the number 4 spot among free iPad apps.  The very simple concept and control of this game puts it in the addicting category, and I have honestly been unable to put it down. Read on for our full Bike Race review for iPhone and iPad to see if this is a game for you.

There is actually no setup for this game – meaning no login or account needed.  Upon launch you get two options, play or settings.  The settings screen simply has an option to Toggle Music and a Help button which will show you a screen explaining how to use the accelerometer to lean forward and backward as well and where to touch the screen to accelerate or brake.  While it’s nice to be able to just get in there and start playing without linking your Facebook/Twitter accounts or making a new account altogether for this game specifically, it’s always nice to be able to play against friends.  I would like to see some kind of social integration added in the future – perhaps racing in real time.

Using the controls explained above (and in the help section of the app), you will find that there are few controls to learn and they are extremely intuitive.  Touching anywhere except for the left side of the screen will accelerate the bike.  Touching the left side of the screen will brake the bike.  Leaning the iPhone or iPad backwards will bring the bike onto it’s rear wheel while leaning the iPhone or iPad forwards will bring it onto its front wheel.  Learning to lean correctly is important in order to properly negotiate the many flips and ramps you will encounter throughout the game.  Throughout the levels, your bike may fly off the course or crash into a line.  If this happens, you promptly restart at the beginning and are able to retry.  You are given 1 to 3 stars depending on how fast you can complete the course – hence the name “Bike Race.”

There is an in-game shop where three additional bikes currently reside.  They are Kids Mode, Super Bike, and Ghost Rider.  Kids Mode will unlock a bike which has a Super Helmet, Unbreakable Bike, and is Easier to Jump.  The Super Bike boasts 4x as powerful (speed), Super Helmet, and Unbreakable Bike.  The Ghost Rider Bike does not break and can go through walls (track).  What was most interesting to me, however, was the prices of the bikes/modes.  The Kids Mode is $6.99, Super Bike is $4.99, and the Ghost Bike is $1.99.  Given that this is a free game, and perfectly playable with the standard bike, the fairly steep prices are interesting.

Device Experience
Because the game is exactly the same on both the iPhone and the iPad, the screen size remains the only difference.  It is quite a large difference; however each device has its pros and cons.  The iPhone allows for a more natural feel of using the accelerometer in the device to tilt during game-play.  The iPad gives you the bigger view of the track and bike, but does feel slightly awkward as you attempt to tilt the device left and right.

Games do not get to the number one spot by chance and stay there.  Bike Race is as simple of game to play as its name leads on to.  Like other favorites such as ‘Angry Birds’ or ‘Where’s my Water?’ the star rating system encourages you to replay levels to get the best score you can – maximizing the amount of fun you will have.  Bike Race currently contains 4 level packs with 8 levels in each with an additional pack coming soon.  For its addictive nature and ease of play – I give Bike Race a 9/10.

Bike Race is available as a Free Universal app in the App store now.