If Zwift had traffic: Become a bike messenger with this indoor-trainer game

by Matt de Neef


Sick of Zwift? Looking for a way to make your indoor training a little more fun? Keen to experience the thrill of riding at breakneck speed through heavy traffic without all the risk? Hustle City might be for you.

According to its developers, Hustle City is “a story-driven, cycling game that rewards fitness, creativity and nerves of steel.” You play as a cycling messenger, riding “hot lines through city traffic as you rush to drop off packages and meet tight delivery times.” 

Hustle City is a mobile game but one that utilises smart trainer technology to gamify your indoor riding. Connect your phone to a smart trainer then use the Hustle City app to get your virtual #messlife on. And yes, the app integrates with Strava so you can record your workout (albeit without the faux-GPS tracking that Zwift allows).

Perhaps the most intriguing feature of Hustle City is the ability to steer in-game by turning the handlebars on your stationary bike. This doesn’t seem to require any fancy (and super-expensive) tech – just mount your smartphone to your bars and your phone’s in-built gyroscope will do the work.

It’s a nifty idea but I’m curious to see how it plays out in reality. Turning your handlebars on the indoor trainer doesn’t exactly come naturally, and I wonder how easy it will be to steer your in-game rider with the necessary precision. Of note: the real-life bike messenger in the video below seemed to find it fiddly at first but got used to it.

I’m also curious to see how much depth there is to the game. Is there more to it than riding from point to point, dropping off packages? If not, will that get repetitive very quickly? And what about the game’s story? Is it engaging, or is it just fluff between each frenzied dash through traffic?

Perhaps none of that even matters – maybe it’s just a fun way to do some riding indoors.

Hustle City is in beta right now – look out for a review once we’ve had some time to play around with it.

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