There are many two-wheeled sporting activities to get involved in: mountain biking, downhill biking, and motocross racing to name a few, and dirt biking also being an option for people that like their bikes loud and offensive to the ears. Games exist to simulate these kinds of sports, but what about a dirt biking game that is a little more refrained and doesn’t actually involve any dirt whatsoever? Bike Mania 3 is a game that puts you on a dirt bike but with the purpose of crossing the terrain and overcoming various physical obstacles on your way in a series of levels to test your bike balancing skills to their very limits. This isn’t dirt biking as you know it, it is a unique take on the sport that puts you in an aesthetically clean environment with snow and ice all around and the challenge of staying perfectly balanced on your bike as you cross each level. Expect to be both challenged and surprised at a game that makes such a simple task so immensely challenging and actually rather fun as well.
Bike Mania 3 (or Bike Mania on Ice as it is also called) is far from an extreme stunt extravaganza, and instead merely asks of you the ability to keep your rider on the bike from point A to point B by riding over various obstacles along the way. There isn’t much to the control system, only the directional arrows controlling movement with up and down making you accelerate/decelerate and the left and right keys controlling the tilt of the bike. The game really doesn’t involve much accelerating in any high-speed way and is rather about the careful conquering of ramps, barrels, rocks, and other objects that lay in your way. Balance is truly the key, and it is much trickier than it sounds.
Each level increases in difficulty as you move through the game, with each one containing more complicated obstacles and obstructions that test your balancing skills more and more. The moment your rider hits the ground instead of the wheels, the level is over and you must begin again. All levels are extremely short but the arrangement of obstacles in them is such that you my spend quite some time trying and retrying your journey through it, with each obstacle requiring considerable attention to the speed you are travelling and the skill of balancing the bike so that its front or rear end doesn’t flip 180 degrees to where it shouldn’t be.
Bike Mania 3 Ice is an extremely challenging physics-based delight, and though its graphics aren’t spectacular, it certainly offers more in the way of gameplay than it does in its aesthetics. The physics behind the action are solid, which is more than can be said for some other dirt biking titles (Hell Riders comes to mind). It isn’t by any means the greatest biking game out there, but it is certainly good for passing a bit of time or someone looking for a bike game that doesn’t just include all-out racing against other opponents.