Wow, Riders of Rhea hooked me quick with its top-down radial shooting and the HUD designed like something straight out of the early days of gaming. You live on a barren chunk of rock in space, and riding the dunes on your bike is all you’ve ever known. Now someone’s come in and built an elevator from space and suddenly your already somewhat depleted homeworld is being pillaged for resources from another off-world bunch of punks. Add this to the already never ending struggle against local gangs to grab resources and you’ve got an all-out turf war that plays out like Akira, minus the psychic powers and visions of exploding brains.
So you’ve got a motorbike, and WASD controls. There are a couple cannons on the front of your bike, but they’re mounted stationary, so you can only fire straight ahead of you. That means if you want to get a shot on someone, you need to orient your bike to look directly at them. This throws in a slight challenge to the otherwise simple combat system. If you turn while accelerating, you’re going to make really wide turns. You can tighten your turn radius by pressing S to slow down while swinging that bike in the direction you want to fire. Hitting the brakes while being chased is also a great technique when they’re on your tail and you want to get a good shot. Don’t lay down on the trigger however, you’ll overheat the guns, and you’ll need to water-cool them. Watch your reservoir however, you don’t have unlimited water, so if you run low, you’ll need to pick them up (they’ll be the grey dots on your radar). Keep an eye on your shields and don’t get caught in the middle of 6 riders when you’re trying to line up a shot.
Played it? We’d love to know what you thought about it.