Hell Chopper Game

Hell Chopper – Side-scrolling, chopper-based fun quite literally from the depths of hell

To Hell We Ride

I’ll apologise to any Lostprophets for the titular similarity to a song on the ‘Start Something’, since I’m convinced that even after ten years it will be too soon to make light of those unfortunate revelations, but I am instead referring to the act of quite literally taking a ride through hell on a low-riding motorbike that the even the Sons of Anarchy and Samcro would be proud of. Happening upon Hell Chopper from GameOnline has done absolute wonders for my opinion on the side-scrolling bike game genre, which I’ll be honest was at best lacking in enthusiasm and had been for a large number of years. The gentle combination of the not-so-gentle hardcore/heavy metal music at the title screen as well as the skeletal bike-pilot that will be your Hell’s Angel for the duration of the game was enough to remind me of the Nicolas Cage film Ghost Rider, an embarrassment of a feature presentation that made me think that nothing could be as bad as watching that again, hence my enthusiasm for the relatively entertaining task of doing anything but watch that film again.

Sidewinder

Well, more like side-scroller, really, but this section title sounded better and is an accurate reflection of the style of the game in which you ride what appears to be a Harley Davidson motorcycle (it’s a best guess before anyone becomes angry at my self-admitted lack of motorcycle knowledge) across a number of different levels. There isn’t any racing to be done here apart from the race to stay alive by avoiding doing something clumsy like overturning and blowing up your sweet ride. That’s right, this here game is a physics-based affair whereby you control the bike with the direction arrows: up and down makes you move forwards and backwards (which translates to left and right movement on the screen and takes a little getting used to) while the left and right arrows tilt your bike backwards and forwards respectively. The levels consist of terrain that has a selection of peaks and troughs over which you must ride until you reach their end.

Pumpkins, Skulls, Bats

It’s not a Halloween shopping list, rather the items that serve the function of making the gameplay of Hell Chopper a little more interesting. While the aim of the game is to get from A to B by carefully balancing the bike on the challenging terrain, you also encounter the above items in varying quantities. Collecting pumpkins increases your score while running into ram skills restores your health bar. What can cause my health bar to diminish you may ask? The process of elimination (and certainly not logic or sense) determines that the bats are the culprits that reduce your health, so try avoiding these at all costs. As mentioned previously, flipping the bike upside down also leads to near-instantaneous death, and since you only have three lives and you’re already in hell, it is unlikely that your soul is going to bother with the commute to heaven should you perish.

Hell is Fun

I don’t want to offend any religious people out there, but if hell involves any of the antics in Hell Chopper then it sure does sound more fun than it is often portrayed to be. The physics are fairly easy to grasp, though not so much so that the learning curve is too shallow to be challenging and the graphics aren’t breaking any moulds but they are tidy, solidly-drawn and perform the job nicely. Sure, the game isn’t going to be widely praised for its originality, but it is brilliant as a light piece of entertainment. Being split up into levels instead of being one continuous run also helps to break up the gameplay, making the whole thing. This one has made me a bike-game convert.

75/100