After getting the skinny on Hustle City last month, the world's first open world video game made specifically for using with cycling smart trainers is now available to pre-order with a release date of 5 May. The first five-episode season costs $19.99 (around £14.40) and promises indoor cycling that could match the outdoors for fun and excitement.
Claiming the game is “something completely new in the world of fitness games”, Hustle City says it combines exercise, game play and storytelling.
Created and developed by real bike messengers in California’s Bay Area, Hustle City is a story-driven messenger game. Using a smart trainer riders can power on the pedals to speed round the virtual streets, and twisting your bars allows you to ace corners and cut through traffic.
Playing the game, riders can “dodge cars, blow stop lights and explore the high stakes, no brakes world of underground bike messengers from the comfort (and safety) of their home,” says Hustle City.
In each episode of the game you ride as its main protagonist Will Baldwin: "Hustle City is the story of how he climbs the ranks from humble messenger with Hustle City’s Plan B Courier to bona fide megastar", say the game's developers.
To get started on the game, at this time riders need a smart trainer, iPhone and an Airplay capable device (Mac, PC, smart TV, Apple TV, ChromeCast, Roku, etc.
The game works by mounting an iPhone to the bars and airplaying from the phone to the screen. To steer, the iPhone’s gyroscope is used to track the movement of the bars.
What Hustle City offers seems to be very different to what currently exists in the world of cycling fitness games, such as Zwift and Bkool. It focuses on being a fun distraction for packing in a sweaty workout, rather than one that concentrates on heart rate and power zones, or w/kg.
Hustle City is compatible with Strava. This enables players to share their ride with friends and compete to be the fastest messenger in the game.
“Drawing inspiration from their backgrounds as messengers and the cycling community at large, developers created a game where you can not only explore a completely new city on your bike, but dive into a rich culture that is often romanticized but misrepresented,” says Hustle City.
In our feature with Hustle City's Project Lead Marcus Cheek, we spoke about how his background links to the story of the game, the ins and outs of the structure of the game, and how they achieve tricking you into doing an intense interval workout.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.