180061_largerOften imitated, but never duplicated, I'd still argue that Canabalt [$2.99] is one of the best if not the best sidescrolling endless runner on the App Store. Its beauty is in the game's simplicity, both in the way the game seamlessly conveys its narrative and how it's actually played. The jumping mechanics are close to perfect, the sensation of speed is incredible, and while there have been oodles of similar games released something always keeps us coming back to Canabalt.

Jared and I dive into the history of the game, and discuss the state of the App Store around the time of its release in this episode of TA Plays:

If you haven't yet, you really need to get Canabalt on your iPhone or iPad... Or, at least give the free Flash version a shot.

  • jeffyg3

    I used to love it when it first came out. I don't think it has aged very well. I went back to it a few months ago and after playing a bunch of other runners out there, Canabalt started feeling plain and utterly boring. I deleted it off my iPad after spending a little more time with it. For a trip to the past it's nice to visit once in awhile, but overall this game doesn't pass the test of time for me

  • moshgra

    I am really diggin these rewind TA plays. Keep them coming!

    • Rivalsan

      I completely agree! Most of the games that have been shown I already own, but I'm sure some hidden gems that I missed will come up soon.

      • moshgra

        TA plays in general is my favorite segment. I haven't owned iOS devices for very long so it's really nice to see hidden gems of the App Store that I wouldn't normally run into.

  • daniel schroeder

    This is indeed the purest runner, and I still come back to it on my phone, iPad, and even PS3. I was thinking that one addition other runners have added since is the mission system, but I also don't think this game would benefit from such a feature. I'll have to check it out on Ouya -- great, now, I have to plug it in -- to see what you guys are talking about with the extras they've added.

    If I had one complaint about this game other than no widescreen, it would be the occasional low window you need to jump through. I feel like they always come up when I'm going so fast, it would be impossible to anticipate a half-jump to make it through. I can't count how many runs I've ended by biffing on a wall just above a window.

    • drlemon

      The developer said it's coming

      • daniel schroeder

        What's coming? The ability to not biff on a wall?

      • Rivalsan

        He's probably referring to widescreen support.

    • Gabrien

      Don't jump.

  • cowtruck123

    What is the difference between this and canabalt pro?

    • C. Stubb

      Canabalt Pro is some port some guy made by taking advantage of the open source code for the original Canabalt. While less expensive, Pro is known to have serious performance and stability issues.

  • pdSlooper

    One thing Canabalt excels at is presentation. In particular, its music is fantastic. I find that many iOS games scrimp on their music, and as someone who listened to her games' chirps as often as the radio, it drives me nuts.

    The gameplay itself is lackluster, at least for me. I'm not a huge fan of most endless runners, honestly, so take with requisite grain of salt.

  • Gabrien

    No other runner comes close.

    • dancj

      Yeah. It's still the best runner by a mile.

  • Handsomeluke

    I miss Brad already πŸ™

    • waffer15

      Is he not gonna be here anymore? He was awesome

    • heresandypandy

      Brad's a miss but Eli and Jared are doing great, and at least they're seemingly more enthusiastic and prolific in recording these TA Plays videos (thus far at least) πŸ™‚

    • ZarieoZ

      What happened??

      • HandsomeLuke

        He left TA to go into game development for the guys who made Monday Night Combat, something like that.

      • ZarieoZ

        Oh that's really awful, now the three musketeers are down by one πŸ˜‰ kidding aside, I really liked this trio Eli, brad & Jared :-/ they are TA.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com/ Silent Rocco

    They never fixed the bug of disappearing steam clouds in the background. Annoying detail, lazy devs, apart from that: perfect game. But that bug... (makes me angry)

  • Joeri Bakker

    Where's that fanfiction at?