By Alicia Davis
Historically, cycling has not featured too much in the world of online gaming, mainly due to it being quite difficult to recreate the thrills and spills of road racing or long distance touring on PC or console. However, as that begins to change thanks to more immersive experiences and virtual reality apps, we thought it was time to take a look at the online games that are really beginning to harness the passion people have for two-wheeled pursuits. Here are some of the games out there in the online ether which are on trend and have decided to put cycling in the spotlight.
Zwift Leads the Virtual Reality Charge
Is it a game or a simulator? Either way Zwift and its competitors like Sufferfest and Peloton are at the cutting edge of cycling game design, able to pit hundreds or thousands of racers from all over the world against each other.
This is done by using stationary cycling trainers, many of which do not require people to break the bank to pick them up online or in store.
Another nice feature that this virtual reality setting allows for is members of the general public being able to ride against pro racers or even celebrities. This can sometimes make for the weekend ride-out of a club cyclist’s dreams, as they line up next to Rory McIlroy and Geraint Thomas.
A Grand Tour, And No Jeremy Clarkson In Sight
While some online games are specifically all about trying to recreate the riding experience, there are others that are just happy to use the sport to promote an already pre-existing concept. Such is the case at PokerStars, where a special poker tournament has been set up with cycling fans and riders in mind.
Basically, the more a player succeeds in the Grand Tour, the further through the game they progress. Just as is the case in the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia, perseverance is the key, as the man or woman with the best sticking power is crowned the king of the road. The same online gaming company also recently ran a competition giving away an incredible Izoard RR racing bike worth a whopping £15,000, which just shows how highly thought of cyclists are to online gaming firms.
Become a Big Bad Team Boss
While aping the actual feeling of competing in a road race or Grand Tour is particularly difficult to do, if you do not have a home trainer setup, the next best thing is to jump in the team car, where you can put yourself in the shoes of a cycling team boss. That is what is on offer from the good people at the unfortunately named Cyanide Studios, who have put together Pro Cycling Manager 2020.
This is by far the most advanced of all the Pro Cycling Manager series, allowing players to manage the team’s finances, enforce strict training regimes, and boost your team’s morale and self-belief. There is even a special Tour de France edition, which allows you to tackle the greatest race of them all.
Mountain Bikers Well Catered for Online
Of all the cycling disciplines that have attempted to transfer over onto standard gaming platforms, mountain biking is the one that has been the most successful. This is largely due to games developers being able to create jumps and other obstacles for gamers to tackle, rather than just having them race against a clock. Throw in a few spectacular tricks and stunning settings, and some mountain bike games are a joy to behold.
The most well-rounded titles out there include Descenders for the Xbox, as well as others like Lonely Mountains: Downhill, which is a better option for those who prefer to play on mobile devices.