When I got the chance to check this beat-em-up adventure of sorts of PAX East this year I walked away from the demo thinking it was visually interesting but structured poorly for making a good quick impression. The hope had been that what I saw there was just cobbled together to give people an idea of the different powers and puzzles you could use over the course of the game. Unfortunately, it’s actually how the game opens, making the experience a bit confusing and tough to really enjoy from the get-go. If you feel like too often games hold your hand to get you going you may appreciate how Riders just drops you into the deep end with minimal direction, leaving you to wander, likely die, and work out the order you need to move through the initial areas to get your abilities and progress. However, in an indie ecosystem full of games that handle the entirety of the gaming experience in a much more careful and constructive way Neon City Riders starts out failing to make a very positive impression and never really recovers with a clear payoff for that initial investment.
Justin Nation, Score: