Draw Rider is an iOS and Android app from 17Studio. It is available now as a free download, with a premium version available for $1.99. The premium version includes more features, more levels, and removes advertisements.
Draw Rider is a single player racing game where the player’s goal is to complete each stage within a strict time limit. While the game only runs from left to right, its use of rough terrain, balancing, and physics make the simple goal quite difficult to accomplish. Even with a high difficulty level, Draw Rider provides a concept that is simple enough for gamers of all levels to grasp.
Draw Rider places the player in the role of a stick figure riding a bicycle from the far left end of the level to the far right. The four on-screen buttons accelerate, brake, lean forward, and lean backward. There’s not much else to the gameplay, but those tools are more than enough to add a sense of challenge to the experience. That challenge is further increased by the rough terrain. While the first couple levels are mostly flat, the stages quickly become full of pits, dips, hills, and other obstacles and rough areas that will require the player to quickly master the controls and understand the physics engine if he or she wants to find success. To make it even harder, each level comes with three time limits, of which the longest much be beaten before the next level is unlocked. There are 37 stages in the free version of the game, which will provide more than enough challenge for the majority of players.
That’s all there really is to the free version of Draw Rider. It’s likely that most players will get their fill from the free stages, but those who crave more will find some value in the premium version, Draw Rider+. The premium game features another 52 levels, different vehicles, the ability to customize the stick figure, invert the black and white color scheme, removes ads, and presents a few other gameplay modes. None of these features are likely to change the minds of anyone who enjoyed the free version, but for $1.99, those who liked Draw Rider will have a lot more content at their fingertips. 17Studio uses a “try before you buy” method with Draw Rider, and the free version’s length not only provides an excellent example of the core gameplay, but feels like a full game on its own. On top of that, the premium version allows users to create their own levels and upload them for others to try. Free players have access to many of these stages, adding potentially infinite free content.
For as fun as Draw Rider is, it’s not without its fair share of problems. The game crashed once during the review. It doesn’t seem frequent, but some user reviews have complained of crashing, as well. Similarly, the game suffers from an occasional issue where an odd error message appears and the program will stop responding to any touch controls. There’s also an odd lack of music during, which takes away from the sense of speed and challenge that the game tries to create. None of these issues keep Draw Rider from being a joy to play, but they could be potential deal breakers for those on the fence with the difficulty.
Draw Rider pushes the “try before you buy” mindset and it’s the right way to go in this case. A lot of players will be turned off by the high learning curve, but those who manage to adapt are likely to enjoy themselves to the point where spending $1.99 will be a no-brainer. Those who love customization and content creation will likely purchase the premium version as well, since the creative possibilities are seemingly endless. Draw Rider is easy to learn, hard to master, with user-created content only adding to the value.
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The free version provides more than enough content for most people, and the premium version will satisfy the urges of anyone wanting to make their own levels.