Aw yeah; time to break out the dirt bikes!

Review Date: February 8, 2021

Release Date: October 18, 1985

Platform: NES

Developer: Nintendo

Genre: Racing/Creation Hybrid

Anecdotes: By the end of 1985, our NES game collection had reached 5 games. I clearly remember Super Mario and Mach Rider as the first two. The rest of the memories are hazy, but I’m fairly certain two of the others were Kung Fu and…the hilarious Excitebike. From designing courses with every obstacle in the game to designing a course with nothing, this game provided hours of entertainment. We designed a course with the same obstacle over and over to see if we could stand it long enough to finish it. We would do races holding B down and not caring if we overheated. We got so much fun out of this silly title.

Description: Excitebike is a dirt racing/stunt racing hybrid. While designing tracks is an option, most of the fun is in Selections A and B. They’re identical, except B has three other racers on the track to make things more difficult. In both selections, the object is to beat the third place time listed at the bottom of the screen. The other racers in B are irrelevant; the race is against the clock, not the other bikes. At the start of A or B, five tracks are offered as options. Regardless of track chosen, the time after two laps must beat the time at the lower left. If successful, the track is repeated. After that, the racer goes to the next track up the line until reaching track 5, which will just repeat.

I’m awesome. Look at me jump.

Positives: The gameplay was pure fun. The controls were simple and easy to understand. The game doesn’t waste any time with an unnecessary plot or characters. They didn’t make anything in this game complicated. Designing tracks was fun. With only 19 elements available, they didn’t overload creators.

Nice touch by Nintendo adding a cameraman.

Negatives: Just like Mach Rider, custom tracks could not be saved or loaded. There were only 5 predesigned tracks in the game. We never got past track 5 when we were kids to see what the game does. I did find out later on in life, though.

Q as in Quicksand…

More screenshots:

I’m not sure how a bike would do this in the real world, but it’s no problem here.
Ride until the wheels fall off…or the driver.
Time to drop a few S bombs on the course.

Grade: B

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