It’s rare a free-to-play title makes our Game of the Week column, but occasionally an ad-supported game comes along that’s just too good to ignore.
While far from innovative, Tidal Rider takes a time tested mobile game mechanic — keeping an object in between two points by continuously pressing the display — and couples it with simple visuals and responsive controls. In Tidal Rider, your goal is to keep a cute little cartoon surfer riding a wave by pressing the screen to make him climb and letting go to make him move back down the water’s surface.
The trick is knowing when to make the rider climb in order to avoid seagulls and also to grab coins that increase your score.
That’s really all there is to Tidal Rider. It doesn’t offer a particularly deep experience, but if you’re looking for a simple, pick-up-and-play title to kill some time while you wait in line at Tim Horton’s, it’s difficult to beat the extremely low price point of absolutely free.
Removing ads is priced at $1.99 but during my roughly hour or so playing Tidal Rider I didn’t find the in-game ads intrusive at all. Additional riders can be unlocked with coins you earn hitting the waves.
There’s also a sequel Tidal Rider 2 — which I may feature in another week for Game of the Week — which changes up the original game’s formula considerably. Instead of keeping your rider on a wave, the player paddles forward, bouncing over various sized waves.