What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bike Baron is a physics-based extreme sports game that challenges players to guide a motorcycle rider over an increasingly difficult series of obstacle courses. When the rider crashes, he yelps in fear, then falls to the ground like a lifeless puppet, but there is no blood. Users can create and share their own courses, but there's no personal information attached to them and the game doesn't feature content in the toolmaker that would offend most parents. The game does not support iPhones sold before the 3GS and is only compatible with third generation (and higher) iPod Touches. Users can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
What kids can learn
Thinking & Reasoning
- problem solving
- analyzing evidence
Engagement, Approach, Support
The courses are entertaining. There's plenty of diversity. And the difficulty ramps up at a good pace. Overall, this is a silly, fun game, though not something that will become an obsession for most.
Players will have to pay closer attention to the effects of gravity and momentum on their character, which can facilitate learning. They'll also have some control over their own experience with the level editor, where they can make new courses.
Fairly easy to learn, though there's no tutorial to gently ease players into the game. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname.
What's it about?
Bike Baron players race a motorcycle along a course, making jumps and avoiding obstacles. They have to use the iDevice's tilt controls to get additional distance from their jumps, but need to be positioned properly to land. Gravity works as it does in the real world. Crashing or running into an object will throw the driver from the motorcycle. Players earn stars by completing courses in certain time frames.
Is it any good?
The fun with most physics-based sports game is seeing how far you can fling your onscreen persona when you crash. That's true in BIKE BARON, but the game isn't limited to just that aspect. The courses are entertaining. There's plenty of diversity. And the difficulty ramps up at a good pace. The level editor is a nice addition to supplement the included 40 levels, but downloading the levels others have created is overly tricky (you have to go to a company blog to find codes for levels, then download them blind). Overall, this is a silly, fun game that proves to be a fun diversion, though not something that will become an obsession for most.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Expand on laws of physics by offering real-world examples of things shown in the game (i.e., if an object is traveling fast enough, it can go upside down momentarily in a loop).
Ask kids what consequences they'd need to consider if the game were real life. Which parts of Bike Baron make it clear it's just a game?