Don't get me wrong, I love massive in-depth iOS games as much as the next guy, but it never ceases to amaze me how the simplest games can have such a crazy appeal on the iPhone. Lane Splitter [99¢] is a game of, as you may have guessed, lane splitting. You know those jerks on crotch rockets that come flying down the highway going twice as fast as you are in your car? That's you in this game.

You steer your bike using familiar tilt controls, and earn a score based both on how many cars you pass as well as how long you ride. Touching and holding the screen makes your rider do a wheelie, which not only speeds you up, but also offers a sort of rolling bonus score for each car you pass. The catch? Riding a wheelie makes controlling the motorcycle substantially more difficult. Cars change lanes as well (oddly enough, they also use their turn signals to do this) so even if you've got a straight path to ride a wheelie you still need to keep an eye out for fellow motorists.

Like most (all?) of these kinds of endless high scoring avoidance games, things start out slow and simple with only a few cars. The longer you ride, the faster your bike goes and the more traffic increases which obviously not only ramps up the difficulty, but also your score. On your ride you'll travel through multiple locales, which don't seem to make any difference in gameplay aside from just changing the scenery once in a while.

I've been having a strange amount of fun playing, crashing, and replaying Lane Splitter recently. There's no doubt that the game is basic, but it's got the ingredients for a great 99¢ time waster: Good controls, a fun gameplay premise, and online leaderboards. It's even universal which is always a bonus for those of us with both an iPhone and iPad.

Sure, there's room for improvement. I'd love it if there was more variation in scoring, or if there were jumps or other obstacles besides traffic. Also, while you can see and compete in the overall leaderboards without it, getting any kind of list of your friends' high scores requires Facebook which isn't appealing to anyone who likes to keep their gaming lives and personal lives separate. (¡Viva la Game Center!) Fortunately, none of these things have stopped me from having a blast with the game, but I've definitely got my fingers crossed for updates.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • http://twitter.com/jobbogamer Josh Sunshine

    "Cars change lanes as well (oddly enough, they also use their turn signals to do this)"

    What's strange about signalling when changing lanes?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Ruddock/654075778 Ben Ruddock

      Indeed, pretty sure it's illegal not to, if not then it's still standard practice. Perhaps it's an American thing...

    • ghen73

      I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm.

      Anyway, great game! Also got it when it was free but would spend the buck for sure. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed it considering what a simple concept it is.

    • http://twitter.com/Swampthing Swampthing

      Come to the Washington, DC metro area sometime and you'll find out.

    • Fake MG

      Only assholes change lanes without signalling while within traffic.

  • LBG

    I've been playing this for a while now and it's a great game. I think it went free a while ago, but it's definitely worth the 99 cents IMO. Would be good to see some updates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Ruddock/654075778 Ben Ruddock

    Picked this up when it was free, definitely worth 59p though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ben-Ruddock/654075778 Ben Ruddock

    Picked this up when it was free, definitely worth 59p though.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, Free-App Hero went big on this a couple of weeks back when it was free (obviously). Well worth 59p but I've been enjoying it for ages for nothing : )

  • Steve

    Makes me DIZZY!!!

    • Anonymous

      Same here - looks well done, but made my eyes burn just watching the video.

  • Gui

    Ad Touch Control!!! Please.

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    Lane Splitters is a pizza chain over here in Northern CA. Also, this game looks to me like it really needs some guns in it. And maybe pizza.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sarah-Fiskar/1214658778 Sarah Fiskar

    I thought it was okay. Fun for about 20 minutes. Found this free iPhone games newsletter. Anyone know if it is any good?
    http://tinyletter.com/freegames

  • Guest

    good game so far. would be nice to have the cars change more than one lane. add some randomness to the lane changes. Also would be nice if there were bridges or roads out that you had to hit a jump to clear. also would like game achievements. another good suggestion is to give points on how close you get to cars, rather than how far.

  • Anonymous

    Looks pretty cool. There's another "avoidance" game Octane Shift that is similar but looks Wipeout-ish.

  • Guest

    "getting any kind of list of your friends' high scores requires Facebook which isn't appealing to anyone who likes to keep their gaming lives and personal lives separate. (¡Viva la Game Center!)"

    Yeah, that was BEFORE the game center update, forcing you to show your real name from appleID to all your game center friends.

  • Kevin

    3 1/2, when boost 3d got a 5 (iirc)? both games are equally great, imo

  • Kkokoster

    Having to play beginning of the game after each crush is suck . Should have set stages to begin with, depending upon how far player has gone.

  • Ed

    Legal in Los Angels lane splitting is allowed in many states. Reason? Sitting in Los Angels traffic on the 10 and 405 the operator of the motor cycle is overcome by smog and fumes causing unconscious. Lane splitting is allowed for this reason. Is it dangerous? Yes, is texting and driving as well as the use of a cell phone is like drunk driving.

    • Mike

      Uh have you checked the rate of death regarding alcohol related accidents versus cell phone? Please...

      I concur that lane splitting is legal in Cali, under certain speeds.

  • Suddhashil Ghosh

    I am not getting any clue how to avoid the cops - every time I found them - it is busted!! Any help??

Lane Splitter Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 3.5