FutureGrind is the new game from Milkbag Games that tries to grab you and get you absorbed in its “just one more go” gameplay system. If you’ve played any of the games in the Trials franchise then you’ll feel right at home here except instead of a dirt bike you’re in control of these futuristic bikes that are built all around grinding rails.
FutureGrind has a story tied into it but it’s a bit on the weak side and just kind of serves to move you through the stages. Basically you have different sponsors and people from different companies talking to you and giving you these bikes to complete courses with. The story involves some twists but none of it did much for me. Luckily the game really doesn’t need it as the gameplay is pretty darn good. So each of these bikes features two wheels, each of a corresponding color. Levels in the game are made up of rails that you grind on with your bike and each rail is painted in a color. See where I’m going with this? The goal is to traverse these rails by only touching them with the wheel that matches them. If you touch them with the wrong colored wheel you’ll blow up and have to start the level over. Restarts are instant though which is why this game was so good at giving me that one more go feeling. You can grind the rails on top of them, by jumping and grinding underneath them, and in a few other ways as well.
The game does a good job of easing you into the gameplay and then gets more and more challenging as you progress. For instance, there are five different bikes given to you throughout the game and each one is different from the last. One bike lets you jump three times instead of twice like the other bikes while another bike has the ability to do more airborne tricks. You’ll have to experiment with each bike and learn how to best use them to get the most out of the tracks they are assigned to. The levels will also start changing up the gameplay as well such as by changing the color of your wheels, changing the rail color that you might be about to hit and so on. Other than just completing the level you also want to try to score as many points as you can. This is done by performing stunts and chaining them together to increase your multiplier. Beware the white rails as if you touch them your multiplier will reset back to zero. At the end of each level you earn a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal depending on how high your score was. Online leaderboards also encourage you to set higher scores.
Each of the 25 levels in the game also has 2 challenges associated with it as well. These can be things like complete the track while earning a certain multiplier, not touching certain colored rails, or by doing particular tricks. Some of them are quite tricky and took me quite a few tries to complete. While progress in the game is tied to completing levels you can never really get stuck thanks to some nice options the developer included. If you ever find yourself unable to progress past a certain stage there are handicap features you can enable that are a big help. You’ll be disqualified from appearing on the online leaderboards while using them but that’s a trade off you’ll have to accept.
The art style in the game is pretty simplistic but it’s colorful and rather pleasing to look at. The music is good with some really fun beats to listen to while you’re grinding but it could’ve used more tracks as they do tend to repeat. On the PS4 there are 19 trophies to earn including a Platinum. You’ll have to finish all the levels, travel and spin a certain amount and earn a ton of Platinum medals in order to get them all so it will be quite the challenge.
If these “one more go,” perform tricks and get huge scores, type of games are something you enjoy then FutureGrind is worth your time. I kept failing over and over again on many of these tracks but the instant restarts meant I kept the controller in my hands and playing instead of setting it down. It requires a lot of attention especially in the later stages in order to complete them but it’s really rewarding when you nail that perfect run and set a huge score while doing so. While you won’t be coming for the forgettable narrative you’ll most likely be staying for the great gameplay.
*FutureGrind is out now on PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.