Not to be confused with Line Walker 2: The Man in Black Returns.
Let's do an experiment together. Take $30 out of your wallet, and look at it. Really look at it. Whether it’s your job, allowance, or finding it on the street somewhere, you earned that money. Now, think of all the things you could do with it. You could go to Chili's and get a great steak dinner with all the fixin's. You could take your significant other out to a movie and still afford popcorn. If you scrounged around for a little bit extra, you could go buy the super-special edition of Iron Man--the one with the mini-bust of Tony Stark's metallic persona. If you continued to save your dough, you could afford Wario Land: Shake It!. Or you could buy Line Rider 2: Unbound, by far the worst move of all of these.
The main problem is this: Line Rider is a free online Flash game that you can play on the internets until the cows come home. Line Rider 2 is a DS game that costs actual money. The gameplay differences are minimal, making this a hard purchase to recommend.
For the uninitiated, Line Rider is a very simple game in which you draw a line for the little character to ride a sled on. The trick here is to get your character from point A to point B without falling off the track. Different-colored lines have different properties, like an accelator line, a slowdown line, a line that falls out from under you, etc. There is also physics simulation, so you have to pay attention to things like gravity and slope angle.
Line Rider 2 expands the original game's create-a-track mode to include a puzzle mode, and the ability to create and share puzzles and tracks over Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection. Unfortunately, you can't share your tracks until you register a new account at the Line Rider website. This is disappointing. Imagine if Mario Kart Wii had a track editor, but you couldn’t share your tracks or play other people’s tracks until you registered at the Mario Kart website. The very idea that a game's content does not become fully available until you increase its website's traffic is hard to swallow.
I was still able to download tracks without registering, but for some reason I was unable to actually play them. Whether this problem is linked to me refusing to register at a website I'll never visit again, I'll never know. The instruction booklet doesn't explain how to play a track you've downloaded, and there certainly isn't a menu option to "play downloaded tracks." Maybe it shows up once you register! Again, I have no idea.
The game's main draw is the "freestyle" mode of creating your own tracks and puzzles. This is a tedious and overly-complicated process. Drawing lines with the stylus is fun, but you have to constantly tweak your designs with the menu items. Each category of drawing tools has several sub-categories, so just finding the right tool is a chore. And if you screw up, you have to go back and select the eraser, erase, and then navigate back to whatever tool you were drawing with, and...it gets old fast.
Story Mode is similar drudgery. The idea is to fill in blank spaces between the lines to get your character from start to finish. Easy, right? Well, no. The first three tracks are ridiculously easy, but the rest are insanely frustrating. In addition to getting to the finish line, you also have to collect yellow and red orbs. These orbs are usually placed in very difficult-to-reach places. Even the first puzzle involving orbs will have you pulling your hair out. After collecting a certain number of orbs, you get to watch a prerendered cutscene of two sledding characters trying to outdo each-other. They remind me of Roadrunner cartoons and they're kind of funny, but they're not worth the effort.
Line Rider 2’s graphics are unimpressive to say the least; I've seen better-looking Flash games. Some of the musical tracks are catchy, but it's not enough to save the experience. Just bear in mind that the internet game is free, folks.