Elasto Mania (also known as Elma) is a 2D motorbike simulation game released in 2000. Elasto Mania claims to be "based on a real physical [sic] model". It explores the notion of elastic motorcycles. The goal of each level is to collect every apple (disappearing by contact) spread throughout it, and then to touch the flower (the exit object). Some people, especially the ones part of online groups such as Mopolauta, play the game trying to finish levels as fast as possible, while others, mostly quite-new-to-the-game players, simply concern themselves with the accomplishment of levels, often first requiring figuring out a way for them to be solved. Ultimately, though, experienced players are motivated by the objective of finishing levels in the least amount of time possible, trying either to settle down personal, or world, records. That contributes to setting the stage for serious competition, especially in the official game levels.
The player controls a motorbike rider, and has to restart the level anytime his head or bike's wheels touch a "killer" (seen as a rotating spiky wheel), or his head touches a solid structure (such as a wall). All the apples in a level must be collected before the player can touch the flower and proceed to the next level. A few levels contain apples that change the direction of gravity, causing the motorcycle to drive on the walls or on the ceiling, although those are quite unpopular. Only the head and wheels of the driver may interact with the level. His body may overlap walls without injury, allowing for bizarre-looking situations, such as hanging upside down with the wheels on top of a thin floating island, with the rest of the motorcycle and the driver's body overlapping the island and his head being some distance below it.
Accelerating the motorcycle uninterruptedly slowly raises its front wheel as the balance shifts. Failure to modify the vehicle's balance results in overturn, causing the driver to hit his head on the ground. This can be prevented by periodically briefly releasing the accelerator, to balance the torque of the back wheel with gravity. The brake applies to both wheels simultaneously. Because of the infinite friction between the wheels and the ground in the game, if the brake is not used carefully, the rider will abruptly be thrown over the front wheel.
Rotating left and right, known as volting, is accomplished by the rider either pushing or pulling on the handlebars. This maneuver is used to climb obstacles and otherwise pass through broken ground, and also allows the motorcycle to land on the ground wheels down after a jump. Turning around causes the driver and motorcycle frame to rotate as a paper silhouette in a comical fashion while the wheels remain in place, causing the front wheel to become the back wheel and vice versa.
Although the controlling of the game can be simple for experienced players, the physical model provides for wide range of tricks that can be performed. These range from subtle maneuvers to increase speed to more dramatic effects achieved by exploiting various skills earned from practice. One of them, named the bounce, is an exploit of a reproducible (thus the occurrence of which can be controlled) bug in the physical model, allowing for the bike to be propelled some distance up in the air. Another trick, this one unnamed, involves pushing oneself forward on the ground through the momentum gained by centrifuge rotations gained by volting while up in the air and away from the ground.
Elasto Mania was created by Balázs Rózsa as a sequel to the 1997 game titled Action SuperCross. The two main differences between the two games are the slight change in physics and the addition of twelve internal levels. The latest official patch for Elasto Mania is version 1.11a, and the latest unofficial one is 1.2 very final, the latter being available both in normal and widescreen flavors. The free demo version contains 18 official levels, while the full version contains 54. In addition to these official "internal" levels, many "external," fan-created levels can be found online, often gathered in level packs.
Template:Unreferencedsection For a long time in the history of Elasto Mania, players could join the IRC channel "#battle" and participate in what is known as "battles"; this could be achieved by a player uploading a level of his creation to a bot. The level would then be put into the IRC channel for other players to download. The goal of those battles is, in a specified amount of time (usually ranging from 5 to 30 minutes), either to be the one to collect the most apples, or to score the best time. Players were able to share their score at any time through the channel, and when the time elapsed, the "leader" player would share his replay with others, both as a proof of his performance, and to satisfy potential curiosity from the part of other battlers on how such a performance could possibly be achieved.
On the 26th January, 2006, a patch for Elasto Mania was released to the general public. Developed by Milagros, a member of the Elasto Mania community, this patch—"Ballelma" or "Belma"—allows in-game access to battles (that is, without having to rely on IRC), in addition to featuring a chatting client and the ability of real-time seeing other players. Since then, programming has been underway for a new patch (known as "Elma Online"), adding to the features of Ballelma by including, among others, instant statistics, more battle options, and a frequently updated site.
EuroGamer reviewed the DS port of Elasto Mania, developed by Mobirate. Tom Bramwell highlighted the unpredictable but enjoyable combination of physics-based elements such as the grappling hook, bounce pads and rope bridges. He felt that the DS controls allowed the player to easily perform aerial feats, and drew comparisons with RedLynx Trials 2: Second Edition.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 http://www.moposite.com/misc_text_files/elma_readme.txt
- ↑ Moposite - Information - Games - Elasto Mania
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 http://www.elastomania.com/ Elasto Mania Home
- ↑ http://www.moposite.com/records_elma_wrs.php Elasto Mania World Records
- ↑ http://www.moposite.com/records.php?aa=World+Top100&dd=TT World total times top100
- ↑ http://ez-upload.net/user/Madness/World%20Top10%20Records.PNG World Top10 Records table
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Bramwell, Tom (2008-12-01). Elasto Mania Hands On. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2008-12-17 “Elasto Mania [...] is about doing absurd things easily; and then later it's maximising traction, stopping without tipping, conserving momentum, and flying through the air exactly as you intended. The back-to-the-start punishment for failure might rub us up the wrong way in the long run, but it's just as likely we'll call a truce and celebrate the rest of the ride.”
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AN6szPYVJw Examples of Bounces
- ↑ http://zworqy.com/elmaguide/index.php?p=general#patches
- X-Moto, a clone of Elasto Mania for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X systems
- Bike or Die, a clone for Palm OS PDAs.
- Bike or Die 2, sequel to the above for Palms and now also iPhone
- Open trial, a two-dimensions (2D) motorbike trial game, for Linux and Windows systems.