Riding Levels are levels that have many characteristics that distinguish them from other levels, including a lack of frontwards and backwards controls, utilization of common scenery items, such as columns, as obstacles and usually, an animal that the character -- either Crash or Coco Bandicoot -- rides and befriends. Some examples of Riding Levels are Bear It, from Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Hog Wild from the original Crash Bandicoot game.
Two levels in Crash Bandicoot feature the Riding Level format: Hog Wild and Whole Hog. These two levels feature Crash riding a livestock hog from the Natives traveling through a Native Village. These levels can be found on N. Sanity Island and Wumpa Island respectively.
Similar features in the two levels are Native enemies, trying to stop the hog with shields, moving from left and right, and spiked pillars, found in levels like Native Fortress. Other obstacles include rotisserating hogs and elongated holes.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
This game varies the Riding Levels difficulty with the use of limited lighting and a mixture of the Riding Level with a Hazard Level, as seen in the level Un-Bearable. Here Crash must move towards the screen on Polar while escaping the hazard of the Giant Polar Bear.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Very similar to Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Warped has Coco ride a Bengal Tiger cub named Pura over the Great Wall of China in two levels; one in the day and one at night.
Enemies in these Riding Levels include Chinese Laborer Lab Assistants, Chinese Dragons, Barrels, and Water Carriers: more enemies than any of the former Riding Levels.
Crash can ride a Tyrannosaurus named Baby T in two prehistoric levels. However, unlike Pura and Polar, Crash is in full control of Baby T's movement and can be unmounted at any time. Also, Crash will lose him if he takes a hit off an enemy or dangerous obstacle.
In this game, having a 'pet' to ride is dropped. Instead, Crash will ride a mine cart, like in the level Compactor Reactor. Although left and right movement is limited to lifting the cart on a single wheel, frontward movement is still not controllable, fitting it into the Riding Level category.
Unlike the previous Riding Levels, with the exception of Un-Bearable, the actual riding is limited to only a certain portion of the level. Obstacles in this game are limited to holes and Nitro Crates with no actual enemies attempting to stop Crash.
Again, riding is limited to only a portion of the level in this game. Crash again rides Polar, but this time, he rides to escape a Yeti, which also constitutes as a Hazard Level. Enemies and obstacles are the same as they are in Un-Bearable: Sliding Penguins, Land Mines, and Electric Fences. These levels are Frostbite Cavern, Snow Crash, and Snow Job.
The only type of Riding Level in this game are the Wakeboard levels, which also constitute as Hazard Levels. Instead of riding Polar however, Crash rides a Wakeboard to escape a shark. Obstacles included are Seagulls, which could he reoccurring enemies from Crash Bandicoot: Warped Jet Ski levels, and grass, returning from the Triceratops Hazard Levels in the same game. The grass here, like the grass in those levels, will slow the player down. The levels that use the Wakeboard are Lagoony Tunes, Flockful of Seagulls, and Water Logged.
Riding Levels make a return as their own type of level in Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage. Here, Crash will once again ride Polar without the pursuit of a hazard.
Many changes occur in the Riding Levels in this game. The biggest difference is that forward motion is now motion to the right, due to all of the Riding Levels being side-scrolling. Instead of the standard snowy level that Crash typically rides Polar in, the level is now in the island jungles, having Polar run atop many of the ancient ruins. Also, the enemies vary greatly from any of the previous Riding Levels.
Keeping the Nitro Crates and holes, the Riding Levels of Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage also utilize obstacles never used in a Riding Level before. The rotating, fire-breathing head statues from Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back make a return, along with Spear Floors from Crash Bandicoot: Warped.