Bike Baron

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Bike Baron App Poster Image
High-flying extreme sports game with realistic physics.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn rudimentary concepts of physics and gravity as they attempt to jump obstacles on a motorcycle race course. Bike Baron also encourages kids to be creative via the game's level editor, which lets them create new courses to explore (and again, learn when a feat is physically impossible due to the laws of nature). Kids won't develop deep knowledge of physics with Bike Baron. This game a fun and silly way to play around with concepts such as gravity and momentum.

Ease of Play

The control scheme is fairly easy to learn, though there's no tutorial to gently ease players into the game. Downloading the additional levels others have created is tricky.

Violence

With the ragdoll physics, the rider is splayed out in very awkward and painful looking positions when he wrecks. There is no blood, but you do hear the rider scream in comedic fear when he's falling. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • 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?

App details

For kids who love racing and action

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