Fig 8.

By: Derek Yu

On: August 21st, 2009

Fig. 8 is a new browser game from Intuition Games (Dinowaurs, Effing Hail) where you control a bicycle through a city displayed as a technical diagram. I really enjoyed it – it gave me a great reminder of how relaxing it is to ride a bike through a suburban neighborhood (something I haven’t done in a long time). Somehow this wouldn’t have worked without the graphics, audio (great music), and the way the bicycle’s wheels leave tracks.

I’m not sure if it was the right idea to add highscores and combos to this game, however – it’s a lot more fun to do loops and draw pictures on the ground than to maintain a straight line or “grind” edges. Similarly, I think the checkpoints put too much emphasis on finishing rather than simply enjoying the biking.

In the end, I guess I’m uncertain whether it should have been a race at all. I got more enjoyment out of the game once I dropped that pretense. Otherwise, it’s a really wonderful experience.

TIGdb: Entry for Fig. 8

  • Nicholas Lee

    The comments on that page are rather entertaining, in a YouTubely ridiculous way.

  • falsion

    oh god, you’re right. the comments section on that site is golden. hahahaha

  • Kein

    No offense to the creator, but I don’t feel it was worth a TIGSource post.

  • Mark

    The important part is that we’re posting.

  • poorwill

    This game is awesome, and is totally worth a TIGSource post. One of the better flash games I’ve played recently.
    Also, the scoring system makes the game for me – if folks want to play it as a leisurely bike ride, they are quite able to and COMBOS don’t take anything away from that.
    The only issue I have is that I would have liked to be able to see further ahead/not be guided by the camera to my death.

  • ssid

    I like the soundtrack. It’s what kept me playing. The reward for me was lasting long enough to hear all of the songs. My favorite was probably the 2nd song.

    Any way of getting those songs in mp3 format?

  • James

    I played this several days ago. Somewhat annoying. Your score resets every time you die, and the levels seem designed so that the ideal place to be is on the very edge of the screen. Maybe I was just playing it wrong.

  • falsion

    I don’t like how the camera scrolls off and kills you. The game is so relaxing, it seems like the perfect game just to go about doing whatever you want. But forcing you to go a certain direction just ruins that.

    I like the concept, but some parts of the execution kinda betray it.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting idea, a totally functional game, but the forced scrolling completely ruined it for me.

  • !CE-9

    this game has the best soundtrack since forever. it’s just really, really pleasant and we need more stuff like that.

    I’d prefer a lower tolerance for leaving the screen once you insist on the fixed scrolling (or dropping the fixed scrolling as others say). I didn’t know if was hitting some mysterious object off-screen (or was it hitting a certain distance from the screen edge? or a timer?) – it didn’t feel …intuitive?

    also, I feel that doing curves should be rewarded rather than going straight (then again, I was enjoying the atmosphere rather than frantically keeping an eye on my score) …for that bicycle-ey feeling that we all love. (+ :tv ad smile:)

  • bateleur

    Like falsion I was initially annoyed by the camera… But I don’t agree with the reviewer. For me the game’s most enjoyable aspect was playing to complete it. The difficulty curve is well judged and the camera is an important part of the gameplay. Controlling the pace of your bike it critical to remaining on the screen and being able to see what you’re doing, with the camera dictating the pace at which you must tackle particular sections.

  • LordRolo

    My biggest quip was that it kept zooming it and taking away from the surroundings, sure it uped game difficultly but that could have been done in so many other ways!. I missed the nice details of when we were zommed out, also the fact that when the game ended (and it does end don’t worrie) i could not zoom out and see my wonderfuly jaring non stright line through the town. i guess thats because it artificaly zooms in -.-

    i really don’t liek that bit about the game, on the other hand its is fun and the sound track was nice for the most parts! But oddly i liked the bits with the cycling noise just as much…

  • cm

    Is it just me, or does saving the game not actually… save it?

    It’s a nice game, but I don’t want to choose between keeping the tab open forever and playing the first two levels forever.

  • Dusty Spur

    A downloadable soundtrack would be really nice. I love this music.

  • God at play

    While I do agree that it’s more fun to just ride around, I think the emphasis on scoring comes from the fact that Greg and Mike intended to fund the game through sponsorship. And unfortunately, a lot of emphasis seems to be placed on scoring by web game portals.

    Plus, I think those two like making games hard in general. :P

  • fucrate

    greg’s pretty much a masochist, i’m just an innocent bystander :)

  • Matzerath


  • Derek

    Hard’s good, but there’s not enough incentive to get better in this game, exacerbated by the fact that you only have to make it to the next checkpoint!

  • aeiowu

    I just gotta say it’s nice to see a critical review of one of our games. Thanks Derek.

    Your review spawned a pretty productive discussion between Mike and I about how we designed Fig. 8 and what might have been better. For instance, we didn’t start thinking about music until about half-way through development, which actually changed the feel of the game dramatically. Though, at the time the gameplay felt solid enough and the contrast between the newly formed atmosphere didn’t really occur to us, or at least me… Of course, we were too close to it and it _does_ feel disparate now that we have some distance from it and a lot of quality feedback.

    I was thinking later tonight as well that it’d be interesting if we revisited the game and focused on the atmosphere and overhauled the gameplay in an attempt to celebrate that atmosphere. That could be a lot of fun. Maybe Fig. 8 on iPhone… :)

  • Paul Eres


  • Ailike

    I loved the music and simple graphics.

    As for playing the game, there’s no difficulty in handling the bike, or getting through obstacles. The only skill required to play this game well is to memorize the path to take (and it’s a long ride). Especially in the later parts of the game, the camera will treacherously guide you in a dead end if you hadn’t taken a small opening before. I don’t think much of the combo mechanic, I honestly mostly ignored it since when I played the game, I was trying to get to the end instead of getting a good score. (And considering how the score resets when you crash, the player should just ignore save points when running for score.)

    I also found the easter eggs and passing through the largest one revealed the end of level.

  • ssid

    Can you throw us a bone on getting this music? I keep playing just to hear it, but getting sometimes distracted by trying not to crash the bike.

  • Joseph

    They should have expanded the freeriding section… then you could appease the people in love with atmosphere and the ones who love “combos”.

  • J

    To get the music:

    Save a copy of the game locally, and click my name to get SWFTools.

    Install it, then copy the game to its folder. Use swfextract with the following command to get the music:

    swfextract.exe -s 59 fig.8.swf

    You’ll end up with a single 12-minute mp3 of all of the music. If you want the “title” music, change the 59 to 297 in the above line.

  • ssid

    How do you save a copy of the game locally?

  • ssid

    Oh nvm: you’re tools are windows or linux only : /

  • aeiowu

    the music is all royalty free stuff we licensed from i can give you links to each song if you’d like, though RF music tends to be like $15 a song since they assume you want to license it for some video/game/thing.

  • anon

    I haven’t played it, but I find it hilarious that it looks like your own score total is a bike obstacle.