There are tons of different endless running games available in the App Store, and while the genre certainly wasn’t invented by Canabalt [$2.99] it sure seems to have exploded in popularity since that title's release in October of 2009. Nowadays it’s hard to get excited about a new running game, much in the same way it’s hard to get excited for another match 3, doodle, or zombie game. It's an overly-saturated genre, but every once in a while a new entry will emerge and do something that is just different enough to change up the gameplay in a way that puts a new spin on things. That is the feeling I had after spending time with 10tons’ newest title Grim Joggers [99¢].

The hook in Grim Joggers is that you are actually controlling multiple running characters at the same time. You start out with 15 joggers in a line, and you can jump or double jump by tapping anywhere on the screen. The lead jogger will jump immediately upon tapping, with the rest of the crew following in a staggered fashion. The goal is to run for as long as possible through randomly generated levels while avoiding a plethora of hazards and dealing with a steadily increasing speed. Inevitably you will lose members of your crew to these hazards, but play will continue as long as at least one of the joggers remains alive. Once everyone has given up the ghost, though, the run is over.

The multiple jogger aspect may seem like just a gimmick, but it actually completely changes the typical approach to this sort of game. Normally you would just immediately jump every gap or hazard that comes your way without much thought. In Grim Joggers, however, you have to consider the entire line of joggers - where each of them are when you jump, where they will land, and what sort of hazards will be in their way next. It’s a subtle change from the norm, but it impacts the gameplay in a significant way. I really like having to actually make strategic decisions and pay attention to everything that’s going on while playing, rather than just blindly reacting to a level’s challenges.

Heightening this evolved gameplay is an excellent scoring system that is the real heart of what makes Grim Joggers so much fun. Points are accrued as you run, and at set intervals there are checkpoints. The amount of joggers in your crew when you pass through each checkpoint adds to a scoring multiplier. Needless to say, it’s in your best interest to have as many joggers alive as possible for each checkpoint if you want to reach any kind of meaningful scores. This, coupled with the need to play smart and pay attention, creates some pretty compelling gameplay and is what sets Grim Joggers apart from other running games.

Visually, Grim Joggers utilizes a colorful pixel style that won't blow your mind but does look quite nice. There are all manner of gruesome deaths awaiting your joggers, from man-eating plants to explosive barrels to polar bears ready to maul you. It’s a tad on the gory side, but done in a humorous way, and there is an exhaustive amount of funny statistics and facts tracked throughout the game as well. Three different environments are available to unlock and play through, with a fourth level apparently coming soon. The pacing of the game is really well done too, and there are a ton of achievements to earn and high score tracking through Game Center.

Grim Joggers may be yet another running game, but it brings a few different twists to the genre that put it in a category of its own. The fantastic scoring system and randomly generated levels give the game a ton of replay value. The only thing I came across that I didn’t like about this are the sometimes unfair placement of hazards due to the randomly generated nature of the levels. These occurrences are pretty rare, though, and don’t hinder the overall experience. There’s a discussion thread for the game in our forums with further impressions, and even if you think you’ve had your fill of endless running games, Grim Joggers is still worth a look for its different take on the formula.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.intercasino.co.uk/ Collins Benjy

    All my mates are addicted to this - by far the best jogging app out there!

  • Decoy Octopus

    Sounds Boring. More 99 cent junk.

    • Gwet17

      It certainly isn't boring... try it before you condemn it.

  • GiHubb

    Seems nice but I think you should also cover the running game "Gravity Guy" which is an awesome runner with set levels (which are old school hard!) and a really nice multiplayer especially on iPad. Here in the office it's become a favorite. It's worth a review as it features unique and fun controls, solid graphics and a good soundtrack.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I really liked Gravity Guy actually. Problem was I got completely stuck about 3/4 of the way through the game. It really is hard. Unfortunately I moved on to other games and never had a chance to go back and try and beat that spot.

      I wanted to review it but it's just one of those games that slipped through the cracks even though I enjoyed it. There's only 2.5 people writing for TA, so hard to cover everything. But new releases have been kind of slow lately, so I may revisit Gravity Guy if I get the chance.

      • GiHubb

        Sounds like you might have gotten stuck on level 18. That one was the hardest for me. But it is possible! The other levels in my opinion weren't as difficult (or frustrating). Still, no other game gave me such a sense of accomplishment for a long time after completing it (Super Meat Boy style). The multiplayer is also a ton of fun, it's only currently supported on a single device that's why I recommend playing it on an iPad if more than 2 people are competing. Hopefully they bring out the online multiplayer component and an endless mode which they promised here on the forums.

        Oh and you do an amazing job for 2.5 people! Touch Arcade is easily one of my favorite sites on the web!

  • Adam Bullock

    10tons Ltd with another great app - this company deserves more respect! They've been putting out great apps for awhile...

  • Poontang

    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/ask-dr-swarm/709545

    Inspired by this no doubt... I've seen this in development for a long while now.

    Yet another rushed out copycat game mech done on the iPhone cos no one will notice there!

    • Anonymous

      Why does this have to be inspired by this? Why not be inspired by the OTHER running games, as mentioned?

      The game you linked to, seems to copy Pikmin.

      • Poontang

        Pikmin isn't a side scrolling platformer... I believe you've just said what the visual style reminds you of and not the relatively original gameplay mechanism of replacing one sidescrolling platform character with multiple characters and controlling them as a swarm or group.

        A huge realisation bubble has just popped above my head! I now know why the majority of people don't think Angry Birds is anything like Crush the Castle, cos they look totally different.... 0_o

      • GiHubb

        Who cares if a game is inspired by other games as long as it's FUN. Most games are copycats, not everything has to be original and groundbreaking as long as its good.

      • Poontang

        The reviewer should care... it would be part of an informed review, rather than a blinkered iOS only one.

    • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

      Your ignorance is astounding.

      • Poontang

        There is no ignorance in what I said... what you mean is that you disagree.

        your understanding of the English language is astounding Sir.

      • Ratmack

        Your arrogance then, and I also disagree.

      • Poontang

        I see what you did there.. you used a word that rhymes.

        all opinions are arrogant to the man who disagrees... Ironically your comment is also arrogant if not more so than mine as I merely put forward an opinion that side runners are 10 a penny (hence copycat) and that there are other influences for multiple characters. all you did is name call another for having a difference in opinion.

      • Pauly

        I don't agree.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      You are really reaching here. Swarm is a fully 3D platforming game where you have full control over your group and can cause them to perform various actions as a group. GJ is a 2D running game on a single plane. The group runs on their own and the only control you have over them is jumping.

      Aesthetically, they are COMPLETELY different games.

      So, the only vaguely similar feature of each game is that you control a group of characters at the same time. And for this reason, GJ is a copycat game?

      • Poontang

        No, thats not the reason its a copycat game... the fact its a side runner and it looks like countless others albeit with multiple characters is my reasoning for it being a copycat game, my original comment must have been unclear caused by my uncontrollable reaction to yet another game that's just like 1000 others.

        I'm not saying its a copy of Swarm.. I said the multiple character control was an influence, perhaps.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Your original comment made it sound like this was a rip of the game you were linking to, and that they can only get away with it because it's on iPhone. Kinda like Maxplosion.

        If you're only saying that maybe they were influenced by Swarm somehow, well yeah, maybe. I hardly see how it should be expected that I'd mention that in the review though.

        To your point that this is a game like 1000 others, the entire focus of the review is that it's decidedly different than those other games. Yeah it's another runner but it does something different and doesn't feel like any other runner. For that it's noteworthy. I get the feeling you didn't even read the review that you're commenting on.

      • Poontang

        Trolls can't read.

        The game is fun :)

      • Captain Kremen

        Well, either way - whatever. It's a videogame. I don't know what's up with people who come here, there's always someone going mental ranting on about some game shouldn't be rated highly, or some game copied some other game. Who gives a shit, really?

      • Poontang

        Making a comment thats basically "Whatever" and "Who gives a shit" in a comment area designed solely for people who do give a shit is a little redundant.

        Its like going to a seminar on how peanut allergies effect kids and shouting out "I don't care about peanut allergies OR kids"

      • Ratmack

        Yes well put, but your still an arrogant a**clown poon :) Go play a game and stop arguing your point, you blatantly said it was a copy of Swarm which it is not, and if you say it's only the part about moving multiple characters, as previously stated it is copying pikmin or any other game that you can move multiple characters at a time. On topic it is quite a fun game and polished, doesn't seem rushed to me at all.. still another runner game though :) I really like the extra timing and strategy needed to get all your guys past the obstacles without losing stragglers with a badly timed jump.

      • Poontang

        The word you're looking for Ratmack is "you're" its a combination of "you" and "are" where as "your" is something that belongs to you.

        I also did not say it was a copy of Swarm, I said Swarm inspired... I then went on to say in another sentence and paragraph that it was a copycat game, this comment was based on it being a runner.

      • Captain Kremen

        No, not really. Having an opinion on the game is fine, posting it here is fine. What is pointless is ranting about a trivial detail, such as a vague similarity to a different game, then changing your story later so you still "win" your pointless fucking ranting argument. Twat.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Well said.

      • Poontang

        You should delete the comments section if you "don't give a shit" about opinions and possibly consider not reviewing games if you think "whatever. It's a videogame."

      • Sambo110

        I'm pretty sure they're just saying "whatever" to people who go on huge rants and such about something as little as a 99 cent game. Sure, you can say something like "I disagree and don't think this game is original, didn't enjoy it much" and people wouldn't mind, but going on a huge rant seems a but useless, doesn't it?

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        OMG FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!!

        If I didn't care I wouldn't bother responding to people like you, even when I know it will never turn out well.

Grim Joggers Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4