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Elasto Mania
Developer(s) Balázs Rózsa
Publisher(s) Independent
Designer(s) Balázs Rózsa, Csaba Rózsa
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) January, 2000
Genre(s) 2D motorbike simulation
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Input methods Keyboard

Elasto Mania (also known as Elma) is a 2D motorbike simulation game released in 2000.[1] Elasto Mania claims to be "based on a real physical [sic] model".[2] It explores the notion of elastic motorcycles. The goal of each level is to collect every apple spread throughout that level, and then to touch the flower to finish and move on to the next level. Some people play the game to try to solve levels as fast as possible,[3] while others enjoy its puzzle-like nature, figuring out how to solve a difficult level. However, in the end, the ultimate objective is to finish a level in the least amount of time possible.[4]

Contents

Gameplay

Players control a motorbike rider who is tasked with completing each game level in the shortest time possible. The rider is killed if his head or the vehicle's wheels touch a contractor (seen as a rotating spiky wheel), or if his head is hit by a solid structure during movement, forcing the player to restart the level.[5] All the apples in a level must be collected before the player can touch the flower and proceed to the next level. A few levels contain apples that changes the direction of gravity, causing the motorcycle to drive on the walls or on the ceiling. Only the head and wheels of the driver may interact with the level. His body may overlap walls without injury, allowing for bizarre-looking situations, such as hanging upside down with the wheels on top of a thin floating island, with the rest of the motorcycle and the driver's body overlapping the island and his head being at a safe distance below it.

Accelerating the motorcycle uninterruptedly, slowly raises its front wheel as the balance shifts. Failure to modify the vehicle's balance results in overturn, causing the driver to hit his head on the ground. This can be prevented by periodically briefly releasing the accelerator, to balance the torque of the back wheel with gravity. The brake applies to both wheels simultaneously. Because of the infinite friction between the wheels and the ground in the game, if the brake is not used carefully, the rider will abruptly be thrown over the front wheel. Rotating left and right, known as volting, is accomplished by the rider either pushing or pulling on the handlebars. This maneuver is used to climb obstacles and otherwise pass through broken ground, and also allows the motorcycle to land on the ground wheels down after a jump. Turning around causes the driver and motorcycle frame to rotate as a paper silhouette in a comical fashion while the wheels remain in place, causing the front wheel to become the back wheel and vice versa.

Although the controlling of the game is very simple, the implementation of the physical model provides for a very wide range of tricks that can be done with the bike. These range from subtle maneuvers to increase speed to dramatic effects achieved both by exploiting bugs in the physical model and by the skills earned from a lot of practice.

Versions

Elasto Mania was created by Balázs Rózsa as a sequel to the 1997 game titled Action SuperCross. The two main differences between the two games are the slight change in physics and the addition of twelve internal levels. The latest official patch for Elasto Mania is version 1.11a, and the latest unofficial one is 1.2 very final, the latter being available both in normal and widescreen flavors.[6] The free demo version contains 18 official levels, while the full version contains 54.[7] In addition to these official "internal" levels, many "external" fan-created levels can be found online, often gathered in level packs.[8]

Online content

For a long time in the history of Elasto Mania, players could join the IRC channel '#battle' and participate in what was known as an 'External Battle' or just 'Battle,' this could be achieved by a player uploading a level to a bot. After a minute or two, the bot would put the level into the IRC channel and players could then download it. Players had a specified amount of time, usually 10 minutes, to either collect the most apples or finish in the fastest time.

Players could upload their times to the bot by simply saying a number into the IRC channel, though this was very flawed and permitted cheaters to submit false times.

On the 26th January, 2006, a patch for Elasto Mania was released to the general public. Developed by Milagros, a member of the Elasto Mania community who helped a lot in improving the game, this patch - Ballelma or "Belma" - allows easy access to battles, an in-game chatting client and the ability to see other players. Since then, programming has been underway for a new patch that includes instant statistics, all the features of Ballelma and more, more battle options and a frequently updated site. This patch (known as Elma Online) is also constructed by Milagros, and it is being tested by several other members of the community.

Critical reception

EuroGamer reviewed the DS port of Elasto Mania, developed by Mobirate. Tom Bramwell highlighted the unpredictable but enjoyable combination of physics-based elements such as the grappling hook, bounce pads and rope bridges. He felt that the DS controls allowed the player to easily perform aerial feats, and drew comparisons with RedLynx Trials 2: Second Edition.[5]

References

  1. ^ Moposite - Information - Games - Elasto Mania
  2. ^ http://www.elastomania.com/ Elasto Mania Home
  3. ^ http://www.moposite.com/records_elma_wrs.php Elasto Mania World Records
  4. ^ http://www.moposite.com/misc_text_files/elma_readme.txt Elasto Mania ReadMe
  5. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (2008-12-01). "Elasto Mania Hands On". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/elasto-mania-hands-on. Retrieved 2008-12-17. "Elasto Mania [...] is about doing absurd things easily; and then later it's maximising traction, stopping without tipping, conserving momentum, and flying through the air exactly as you intended. The back-to-the-start punishment for failure might rub us up the wrong way in the long run, but it's just as likely we'll call a truce and celebrate the rest of the ride." 
  6. ^ http://zworqy.com/elmaguide/index.php?p=general#patches
  7. ^ http://www.elastomania.com/
  8. ^ Official Level Packs|http://www.moposite.com/contests_official_levpacks.php

See also

  • X-Moto, a clone of Elasto Mania for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X systems
  • Bike or Die, a clone for Palm OS PDAs.
  • Bike or Die 2, sequel to the above for Palms and now also iPhone

External links








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