Just like other racing games out there, the control scheme of Cyclomaniacs is very easy to learn. For basic movement - to control and steer your bike, you just need to use the W, A, S, and D keys. Unlike other racing games, Cyclomaniacs is about pulling off stunts as much as it is getting to the finish line first. Tap the X or Space Bar button to pull off a bunny hop when the chance presents itself. When you are airborne, hold down one of the arrow keys and pull off a somersault. By the way, there's a stunt bar in the game screen which is filled by performing daredevil moves. Once it's all filled up, you can get a temporary speed boost. That's about everything you need to know about the controls. Now, let's check out the game.
Coming with its guns blazing and boasting 26 different tracks that are increasing in difficulty and located on 6 different worlds, Cyclomaniacs is a racing game you don't want to miss. And the 20 unlockable characters didn't hurt the game's reputation. If that sounds like a pool of pure fun you can swim in, then this masterpiece from robotJAM and LongAnimals is a game you should check out!
When you start the game, you only have access to the first track. BUT as you complete certain challenge and bag achievements, more and more tracks are unlocked. MORE tracks mean you have MORE challenges to complete... which translates to better scores and bragging rights. The challenges you will find in Cyclomaniacs are as diverse and rich as the characters in the game. Some of them are pretty average (Ex.: finishing the game within a timeframe). BUT some of them could get really insane and nerve-wracking like doing a rear wheelie on an uphill track for at least 15 seconds.
Impossible? It sounds like it BUT don't worry. The nice twist in Cyclomaniacs is that the REALLY insane stunts and challenges get relatively easier as you progress in the game. Winning races and bagging awards reward you with cold hard cash. You can use those Benjamins for upgrading the stats of your ride and tweaking its parts. The more upgrades you get, the better your performance will be... making it easier to do the insane challenges. To make the deal even sweeter, all of the characters benefit from a single upgrade. You don't have to go through the hassle of switching back and forth between your favorite characters and worrying about performance.
A Reminder About Crashing: When performing stunts, make sure you hit the ground facing up. Otherwise, you will crash. Crashing is the last thing you want to do in Cyclomaniacs or in any racing game for that matter. It will set you back to the last check point you passed. BUT don't worry. It's not the end of the world for you. There are a lot of checkpoints in the game. My idea is to pull off a stunt only after reaching the next checkpoint. It may not sound fun but it's safe. ?
Cyclomaniac is a game that you will either love or hate. It all comes down to how long your patience is when it comes to 'feeling out' the control scheme and mastering it like the back of your hand.
I would be the first to admit that the controls can get fiddly. It's not uncommon for me to keep on tapping the left and right keys to keep my ride in a balanced position. It's hard at first but it's something you get better at with practice. Do it enough times and it should be second nature to you. The physics of the game can also get quite challenging, which is still a little off even after mastering the controls. That said, Cyclomaniacs is a fun game. The minor quibbles shouldn't turn you off.