Bike Race ’98

Bike Race ’98 is a homebrew game for the Nintendo 64 by NaN. He dropped it on March 1, 1998, as part of the Presence of Mind ’98 competition. In the game, you actually get to be a bike rider who goes around shooting rockets at random people. Talk about crazy, huh?

You can download the v1.0 and v1.2 ROMs from the download page using the password shootitup.

Bike Race ’98 gameplay

The game itself doesn’t have much of a plat, but it does have some gameplay and challenge.

You play as an anonymous bike rider riding through what looks like a beachside town. There are pedestrians walking down the only road and it’s up to you to stop their reign of terror with a barrage of missles.

You can move in all 6 directions with the L/R and C buttons and aim with the joystick and shoot with the Z trigger. It is a bit hard to describe, but it feels like an even stiffer version of tank controls. You’re always facing forward by default and can only rotate up to 90 degrees in either direction. Also the C-up and C-down move you in opposite directions which can be fairly counter-intuitive.

It feels quite a lot like an unfinished game since there is neither a collision detection system for the player nor is there an end game condition. If you reach the end of the map, you just loop back to the beginning (in v1.2 anyway) and running out of missiles just keeps you in purgatory. So I suppose that the objective is to get the most kills before you run out of missiles.

Conclusion and review

Bike Race ’98 is a very impressive game for the time. Back in the day, there weren’t many demos that used a 3D environment, let alone actually have some kind of interactivity included.

The concept itself is hilarious. Who are these random people? Are they zombies? How can the bike levitate? Why does the bike have a missile launcher? I tried to look for a comment from the author but came back empty-handed. The world may never know.

The gameplay is simple enough to be made in a homebrew game, yet complex enough to not be boring. Well, at least for a few minutes when you run out of missiles. The only challenge though is having to deal with the controls. The rotation is way too sensitive and the movement doesn’t allow for precise strafing to help you aim.

Overall, it’s a fun little time waster and definitely deserves more recognition for the technical achievements that it made, especially for a game made all the way back then. It’s like a more demented version of Paperboy.

Articles across the web

Bike Race '98 for the Nintendo 64 is a homebrew game by NaN where you shoot all the pedestrians who dare to cross your path.
Article published on N64 Squid


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