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Hustle City is the Zwift / Grand Theft Auto mashup you never knew you wanted (and yes, you can crash)

New smart trainer app promises to make riding indoors more fun than riding outdoors

Hustle City gameplay

Have you ever felt like Zwift, RGT Cycling and TrainerRoad were just too tame for your chaos-causing instincts? Well, Hustle City thinks it may have just the indoor cycling solution for you.

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Developed by real-life bike messengers from California, Hustle City is said to be “the world’s first open world video game played on a smart trainer”.

In the game, you’ll be able to “dodge cars, blow stop lights and explore the high stakes, no brakes world of underground bike messengers”, all from the safety of your home.

Hustle City: Season One contains five episodes (levels) and is now available to pre-order for $19.99, exclusively through the Apple app store, ahead of its release on 5 May.

Hustle City gameplay
Hustle City marks a different take on indoor cycling apps.
Hustle City

You play as protagonist Will Baldwin, and follow “the story of how he climbs the ranks from humble messenger with Hustle City’s Plan B Courier to bona fide megastar”.

Hustle City says: “You see the world through his eyes, and feel the tarmac through his legs as you fall in love with the world of bike messengers, equipped with friends, foes, punk bands and of course, deliveries.”

This essentially means taking bike courier jobs and then completing them as quickly as possible, all while avoiding traffic and ignoring red lights. If you don’t avoid the traffic, you’ll crash and lose time.

The harder you pedal, the faster the protagonist goes, so you also get a good workout in the process.

How do I play Hustle City: Season One?

To play Hustle City you’ll need an iPhone or iPad, a smart trainer and an AirPlay-compatible device (such as a Mac, PC, smart TV, Apple TV, ChromeCast, Roku, etc.).

Android devices are not currently supported, though the game’s developers say they intend to offer this “in the near future”.

Just like Zwift and other indoor cycling apps, you power your virtual avatar using a smart trainer.

Hustle City says that all BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) compatible smart trainers should work with the game, but it has specifically tested the Wahoo Kickr, Wahoo Kickr Core, Tacx Flux S and Elite Suito so far.

As things stand, Hustle City is not compatible with BLE speed sensors or power meters.

In order to steer, you’ll need to mount your iPhone/iPad to your handlebar, using either a dedicated bike phone mount or a homemade solution. The phone’s internal gyroscope will then detect the movement of your handlebar to direct your in-game avatar.

Given your front tyre needs to be able to move freely, Hustle City recommends using some sort of swivel device to rest your front wheel on.

Hustle City setup
Hustle City uses a lot of indoor cycling kit that many dedicated Zwift users will already have access to, but if you don’t have a smart trainer you’re out of luck.
Hustle City

The game isn’t currently compatible with dedicated indoor cycling steering devices, such as the Elite Sterzo Smart, but if you have one you can still use it as ‘dumb’ (i.e. non-smart) steering device, with your handlebar-mounted iPhone detecting the movement.

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If you’ve already invested too much time (and money) into Grand Theft Auto V and don’t want to start a new game, you could always try this mod, which allows you to control in-game cyclists with your smart trainer.