Excitebike is a motocross racing game released by Nintendo as a launch title for the NES. The game was developed by Nintendo R&D1 and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, with music composed by Akito Nakatsuka.
The game has three modes of gameplay: Selection A, Selection B, and Design mode. There are 5 tracks in the game.
In selection A, the player races alone and tries to complete each track within a set time in order to qualify for the Excitebike championship race. Each track has a different time to beat for first, second or third place. The player must complete the race in 3rd place or higher to continue. If the player beats the first place time, the game displays "It's a new record!" and awards the player additional points based on their time. The first place time is always within 8 seconds of the third place time.
In each race, the player controls a red motorcycle and can move between the four levels of the track. The player can increase the speed of the bike with the A and B buttons. B acts more like a boost, which will overheat the bike if held down for too long. A temperature bar shows how close the bike is to breaking down. Arrows on the track will reduce the temperature of the bike, however. Each track features a number of ramps which must be jumped; altering the bike’s position in mid-air allows a smooth landing and can greatly increase a player's time, as landing in a bad position will cost the player time in regaining the lost speed.
Selection B mode is the same as A except that other CPU players are also on the track. The player is still racing against the clock, but the other racers act as obstacles which must be avoided in order to get the best time possible. The player can also hit the CPU players with their rear wheels to knock them off their bikes.
In Design Mode, the player has the ability to create their own racing tracks by placing any of the ramps available in design mode. The player can choose where a lap ends and how many laps are needed to complete the race, up to 9 laps. The player can race the track in either Selection A or Selection B modes.
The Japanese version of the game allowed the player to save created tracks to cassette tape, requiring the Famicom Data Recorder peripheral. Since no other regions had the Data Recorder, the feature is not available on the North American or European versions, even though the save and load options were still shown in the game menus.
Excitebike was made available on Wii Virtual Console, and this version allowed the user created tracks to be saved and loaded from the Wii internal memory. The game was also released as a Classic NES title for the GBA, which allowed the saving of one track.
Other releases of Excitebike include a 5 card set for the GBA e-Reader and it is also available as an unlockable in Exbitebike 64.
This game began the Excite series, which went on to release several titles, the next being Excitebike 64 for the Nintendo 64, as well as Excite Truck and Excitebots: Trick Racing for the Wii. A remake was released for WiiWare entitled Excitebike: World Rally. A 3D Classics version was released for the 3DS.
Several Japan only sequels were released including an arcade and Famicom Disk System version entitled Vs. Excitebike, and an SNES sequel available via the Satellaview service entitled Mario Excite Bike BS. The game featured similar gameplay to the original, but replaced the generic racers with Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Wario and Koopa Troopas. The game also featured a Super mode which allowed unlimited boosts, and had coins scattered on the tracks which increased the top speed of the bike.