This isn’t a grind
Neon lights, flips, grind and some pumping house music.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release Date: 22/01/2019
Age Rating: 7+
Genres: Action, Racing, Sports, Indie
Developer: Milkbag Games
Remember when Tony Hawks games were good and the insane combos you could make chaining manuals, grinds and gaps together? Future Grind takes its inspiration from those epic combos but with a twist, well two twists. It’s in the future (did the name give it away?) and there are no skateboards in sight.
What do you do?
Future Grind see’s you take control of a futuristic looking bike, the styles can vary as you progress through the game, but they will all have different colour wheels. For your starting bike you’ll have neon blue and bright neon pink wheels. The objective is to get across a level built up of blue and pink bars. Blue wheels need to hit blue bars, pink wheels need to hit pink bars.
As levels progress more colour bars are introduced and new objectives for the level will be added, things such as avoid touching a specific colour bar, or chain a combo of 15 moves together. Should you slip up and the wrong colour wheel touch the bar, the bike explodes and you begin the level again.
It’s a really simple premise, but my god is it addictive, and you know what, it’s really not as simple to play as you’d expect.
Going for the high-score
As you become more accustomed to the game, upon finishing a level and racking up a score of say 19,000, you’ll see that a gold trophy is a minimum of 25,000 points. Based on genuinely how simple the game is, i felt compelled to go back and try to get those high scores. But to achieve some of these you have to really go to town with spins and combo’s, thus the game’s difficulty picks up. You might go for a huge spin and then not get the pink wheel out of the way in time, just clipping the blue bar and losing your combo, your score and starting the level again.
The game features a reasonably basic campaign mode in which you partake in grinds for teams and gain sponsors. The new sponsors you start to attain, the more funky the bikes become and the challenges requested from the sponsors to complete. The levels also get trickier too. It’s once again, a really addictive little campaign.
Look and feel
For how simple the premise is for this game, visually it looks rather striking. The darker levels for instance, the bright neon bars really stand out as do the bright coloured wheels of your bike.
With regards to controlling the bikes, it’s not that simple as the different bikes you attain throughout the game change rather drastically. So while you feel you’ve mastered the first bike from the first few levels, once a sponsor gives you a new bike for a new track, it can feel much different to control, thus takes time to adjust with regards to how much lean is required for grinds. This certainly isn’t a complaint, it actually increases the time put into the game having to get to grips with different style bikes and their grind mechanics.
Length and replayability
The campaign as mentioned is a tad basic in that it’s simply grinding for sponsors, but that’s not to say you won’t replay the levels to earn max points once you master the manoeuvrability of each bike. There are dozens of unique tracks in the game each that will require your skill-set to increase as you progress through the game, not to mention adjusting to the way new bikes handle.
Pros and cons
+ Grind / Bike control mechanics are fun to adjust to
+ Lots of levels that as you progress require you to improve your skills
+ Quite the fun little campaign
+ Excellent soundtrack that accompanies the neon visuals perfectly.
– Local multiplayer would have been pretty fun.
I found myself strangely addicted to this game, once completing specific level requirements from sponsors i’d have no qualms going back to the level and completing the next sponsor requirement straight away. I found myself going back to push for gold trophies on earlier levels.
The colour palette for the game is pretty perfect for the style of game with a sound track that matches the games feel to a tee.
You can definitely lose time in this game as you progress through the campaign unlocking new bikes then having to master controlling them on new levels you also unlock.