“Three stars, purely for the wonderful first half — but later levels are for the bloody-minded only.”£0.69
Side-on motocross action isn’t anything new to iOS, but Bike Baron entices through stunning cartoonish visuals, and courses grounded enough to not vanish entirely into fantasyland but that nonetheless showcase an imagination that brings to mind classic Saturday morning cartoons. The audio also appeals, with unseen crowds whooping and gasping as your rider narrowly escapes death.
The problem is that escaping death is eventually impossible. From a fun, challenging beginning, having you gleefully wrestle a bike to the end of madcap courses, Bike Baron descends into a gruelling, joyless battle of wills: you against a sadistic games designer who favours obscene precision over all else, and doesn’t provide the tools (an on-screen speedo, say) that would enable you to succeed.
Instead, you resort to playing sections over and over from regular restart points, or, if you’re sound of mind, give up.