Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a mountain biking sports game played in third person using fixed cameras. It is developed by Megagon Industries and published by Thunderful Games, and is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of this review, I was playing the PlayStation 4 version, with both the paid and the free additional DLC.
The first thing you notice about Lonely Mountains: Downhill are the shaded polygon graphics. They just make this game for me, and the mountain scenery looks glorious. The base game comes with 4 trails for you to tackle, all part of the Graterhorn mountain. You start off with the easier of the 4 and by completing various challenges, you then proceed to unlock the other trails. The challenges range from time trials to ones where you have a limit on the amount of times you can crash the bike. Completion of the challenges, as well as unlocking the other trails through progression, will also allow you to collect bike parts to unlock better bikes, and additionally to customise both your bike and the rider. There are colours and styles to choose from, with something to suit everyone.
The controls can be tricky to get used to at first, but fear not, there are 3 different controller setups to choose from here. The steering mode allows you to choose between screen based, left/right, or left/right inverted. I tried them all out and found left/right to be the most suitable for my style of play, so the best option for you is to give them all a go and pick the one you like the best. You also have an option to enable or disable vibration, screen shake, as well as on-screen blood. I should point out here that the on-screen blood amounts to a little light 'splatter' of shaded polygons, which is actually quite funny to see. Once you are all good to go with the settings, you can then get stuck right into the action. The game is played in third person and it does have fixed cameras which sweep and zoom in and out to suit the area you are currently playing in. I think I mentioned already just how good this game looks, but there is no harm in stating that fact once more here. Oh, and there is also a night time mode, whch sees you descending the trail in the dark with just your bike headlamp to light the way for you. This is a bit more difficult, but still a lot of fun.
There is no background music in Lonely Mountains: Downhill, just soothing ambient sounds of the mountainside to keep you company, with waterfalls and cookoos here and there, accompanied by the sound of the wind. There is a free rider mode where the objective is only to cross the finish line, so if you want to take in the sights of the mountainside, you can just cruise down the trail at your own pace. The one downside about this game mode is that if you crash, you start agin right from the top of the trail. The other game modes will allow you to start from the last checkpoint you passed through. There are online leaderboards to track your best times, and there is also a progression screen where you can check your trail overview, your trophies in game, as well as your overall statistics.
There are 2 additional DLC packs availabe for Lonely Mountains: Downhill. The first one is a paid one called Eldfjall Island, which adds 4 brand new trails, including a thunderstorm as well as an erupting volcano. And more recently, the free pack called Riley's Return was released, which adds 1 brand new trail and features more dirt and trees. Both the paid and the free packs also include additional customisations for your bike and for your rider. More DLC is planned for the game, and it will be interesting to see what they add to it next, but at present, there is plenty of content available.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a great little indie game. It is suitable for all ages, and for all levels of skill. There is a lot of content for you, even just in the base game. I enjoyed playing it, in particular trying to work out all the little shortcuts and ways to find that ever elusive quicker time. The game looks great and it plays great, and I really cannot fault it at all, except for one little thing, and that is the lack of any kind of co-op or multiplayer. But then again, I suppose it would not be a lonely mountain if you were playing it with friends.
g1a5w3g1an's Rating: 4.5 sneaky shortcuts out of 5.
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Many thanks to Plan of Attack for the Review Key.