It’s summer, the sun is out, so get on your bike and ride your way down some death-defying mountain paths with the big summer update for Lonely Mountains: Downhill!
From Thunderful Publishing and Megagon Industries, Lonely Mountains: Downhill is a sports arcade game that offers up the fun and thrills of speedy mountain bike and nature trail riding. This low-poly bike sim is a thrill-ride of excellent stunt jumps, heart pounding mountain jumps and quietly beautiful bike strolls. With the new summer update and fantastic Eldfjall Island DLC update—adding a whole new mountain trail—there has never been a better time to hop onto this incredible ride.
Heart Thumping Thrills and Fun
It might as well be stated right up top: Lonely Mountains: Downhill is an excellent game. If you have a bit of that Trials itch from back in the day then Lonely Mountain will most definitely satisfy it for you. It’s very simple in concept and execution—you pick your bike, you pick your mountain trail, you ride down as fast as you can—but the amount of fun and genuine thrill to be had out of this game is unstoppable.
Complete with a delightful low-poly art style, Lonely Mountains is just a simply enjoyable game. The control of the bike is intuitive and feels good on every sharp turn, long jump and sloping speedway. Your options for control are simple left-right steering, acceleration, braking, and a short sprint which drains a recharging stamina bar. It can be genuinely quite thrilling to tear your way down a near flat decline or sprint and jump from one cliff to another over a sheer drop. The brake also feels excellent as it takes you from top speeds to a quick skidding halt to make twisting sharp turns when needed. The solid sound design of the game coupled with the small poly dirt fragments that fly around every time you skid really adds to the fun viscerality of every edge-teasing turn too.
For each mountain—of which there are now 5 thanks to the DLC update—there are 4 trails to complete with a list of challenges. You begin each trail with a relaxed “exploration” ride with no time or crash limitations, allowing you to get to grips with the quirks of the path and find where the best shortcuts lay. Every trail has many different ways to complete. There is always the typical path to follow but a little craftiness and quick ingenuity can see you navigating through better (or more challenging) ways down to the bottom. Once this exploration ride is complete you then have access to beginner challenges wherein you’ll need to finish the trail under a certain time and/or with a specific maximum of crashes. Beginner completion then unlocks expert challenges to up the ante and gain better rewards.
You’ll be coming at every trail more than a few times because of these tiered challenges, but that’s no bad thing when every trail is as fun as it is. Lonely Mountains has the same Trials effect wherein it becomes addictive to continually try to shave off more and more time from your personal bests. The mountains themselves also all have their own distinct style and challenge to it making for a good variety throughout the game. By gaining bike parts too you can purchase new bikes that each have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. One might give you a better absorption on landings allowing you to make more steep drops and jumps, but the cost will be a reduced speed overall, or poorer cornering. Certain shortcuts will therefore only favour some bikes, so there is even more reason to try out every trail again. If that’s not enough you can then unlock night modes of every mountain to make it even more difficult.
With the variety of challenges and ways to approach every trail Lonely Mountains: Downhill is an excellent challenge game that keeps its fun well into your hours of play.
Season 7 and Eldfjall Island Update
The Season 7 big summer update might be Lonely Mountains biggest to date. The “Summer Strolls” update adds a new twist to the daily rides playlist with drastic modifiers to change up the way courses are run. These modifiers will be welcomed by veteran players looking for a new type of challenge. If you think you know a trail like the back of your hand why not try it in “mirrored mode”? Or other modifiers will add even more obstacles and/or shortcuts to switch up your pathing; changed checkpoints to modify your strategies; or how about getting silly with some unlimited sprint or better flying control to get those 720º jumps on the go.
The modifiers are a hugely enjoyable way to test yourself in new ways each day and even just plunder in some nonsense chaos runs with the likes of unlimited sprint. It would be nice to see these modifiers continued at some point in the future by perhaps allowing the community to toy around with their own to make courses or playlists.
The new update also adds an all-new summer aesthetic for your character by allowing more customization with beach/summer clothes and a wearable surfboard.
Now to the big DLC mountain: Eldfjall Island.
Eldfjall is Lonely Mountains most interesting mountain yet. Megagon have evidently tried to push the boat out for Eldfjall as this mountain shows off more extreme weather effects than any of the previous incarnations as well as some lovely camera pulls to show off the expanse of this volcanic vista. They’ve put all they’ve learned over the last year of release and really lovingly crafted a special and ambitious mountain trail.
Riding through a thunderstorm to make a death drop jump is simply exhilarating. Inching across a volcano pit of searing hot magma is the stuff Mission Impossible or Bond films are made of. With Eldfjall Island there is certainly a heightened extremity to your simple summer bike ride, and the game is all the better for it. Hopefully Eldfjall is a good indication of what Megagon would like to keep doing with their game in time.
Because hell, I’m never going to go out and actually do these death-defying bike rides myself, but it sure as hell is cool to do it in a video game. And the more extreme those rides can be through thunder, lighting and lava, the better.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill is high on my list for summer recommendations now. Cycle, don’t run, to your nearest PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or Steam store to pick it up today!
Final Score: 9/10