600531_largerIt was another tough week trying to decide who to pick for our Game of the Week, as there were tons of solid titles released this past Wednesday night covering a variety of genres and tastes. In the end, though, we decided upon Boson X [$2.99], a super-difficult, super-twitchy, and super-ingenious arcade game that feels perfect for the mobile platform. It's one of those games you can jump into at a moment's notice, play for as long or as short of a time as you want, and almost always have a hard time putting it down.

Boson X could best be described as Super Hexagon meets Temple Run-style runner. It sounds like an easy gimmick, just slapping two games together like that, but there's so much more to it. As your character runs down a decagon-shaped tunnel filled with many gaps, you'll tap either side of the screen to both rotate the tunnel and jump at the same time, hopefully rotating a platform right below your feet so you don't fall through into nothingness. The longer you hold down on the screen, the longer your guy stays in the air. Mastering both long and short jumps when appropriate is key to doing well.

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You can also tap both sides of the screen at the same time to jump without rotating the tunnel, and here's where the first bit of brilliance comes into play. The pieces of the tunnel that you're able to run on fly into existence right before your eyes, so you're constantly having to figure out the right path to take while simultaneously deciding which direction–if any–you're supposed to rotate, and how long you'll need to jump in the air for.

It's a constant tug-of-war with your brain, and as the game ramps up in speed, the beautiful manic-ness of Super Hexagon materializes in Boson X. You're going to die, and you're going to die a lot. You're also going to instantly retry over and over again just hoping to get a wee bit further without batting an eyelash. This game has deep hooks.

The second brilliant part of Boson X that sticks out to me is how you actually progress. Certain floors of the tunnel glow, and running across them slowly fills up a percentage meter. Hitting 100% will complete the level and allow you to move onto the next. As we found when we took Boson X for an initial spin in our TA Plays video, the game starts out fairly tame as you get used to its mechanics. Once things click and you start to unlock more levels, however, buckle the heck up.

Boson X is one of those games that starts slow and feels overly tricky at first. It would be easy to just give up after the first ten minutes. Don't do that, though. Hang with it, get comfortable with the controls and the mechanics because they will click with you. Once they do, it's off to the races as you try to unlock every level and compete with people on the leaderboards. It's simple on the surface but deceptively deep, and people in the forums have been loving it as well. Don't miss out on Boson X, our TouchArcade Game of the Week.

  • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

    Toaster Strudels are totally concentrated sugar. This runner actually looks pretty good. Nice video, well done.

  • PresidentZer0

    Ever thought of making review videos? I no there is tanplays but this ain't a review

  • Wizard_Mike

    This does look pretty sweet, but GotW? Over all the other titles that came out this week? Am I missing something about this game that isn't in the video?

  • Brrobotix

    This beats shadowrun? seriously?

    • Reignmaker

      Thought the same thing, but it's hard justifying giving the honors to Shadowrun when it was released in its buggy state with no music or ambient noises. Naturally these issues are being fixed, but developers really shouldn't be applauded for releasing an incomplete product. I agree that ultimately it will be the better game though, just not Game of the Week.

      • Brrobotix

        Fair enough. I've been too busy with the Magic DOTP expansion and infinity blade III to check it out yet, but that make a lot of sense.

  • NaughtHere

    Are you kidding? Yet another boring-looking endless runner with no novel features beats all the other games that were released? This game will be forgotten in a week, like all other basic runners, while gems like shadowrun will be discussed and enjoyed for a long time.

    Maybe that's why it's game of the week, because that's how long anyone will care about it?

  • Smaug

    All the people calling it just another runner seem to misunderstand what it is. This game isn't similar to temple run. Master sigh people are just so ignorant.

  • Ramaz1234

    Over FIFA 14?! Over Pocket Trains?! Over Reaper?! Wth just wth

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

    Weird all the hate for this game. I definitely wouldn't characterize it as a runner. I guess you have to actually play it to see what it's like, video and description don't do it justice.

    • http://matt-curtis.me/ Matt Curtis

      Agreed - I usually despite "endless runners" I find them uninspired and contrived. But, I gave this game a try, and I'm happy to say I did. I have no idea what it's doing to me, but it is amazingly fun and unique.

    • Wizard_Mike

      I wouldn't necessarily call it hating on this game, so much as confusion. The game definitely looks cool in the video, but it just doesn't seem to be enough to put it ahead of some of the other releases this week. Like I said before, maybe there's something about this game that I'm not getting from the video. But you have to admit, with this week's line-up, you can't be surprised that people are a bit skeptical.

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

        I dunno, some pretty hostile responses here. This game will be on my GOTY list and I can't say that for anything else released this week except for maybe Tower of Fortune 2. Different strokes and all that, I guess.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        We can't win. We nominate a big name game, everyone accuses us of being on the take giving preferential treatment to big publishers. We nominate a super-sick indie game and people are mad we didn't choose an ultra-buggy iPad-only big name game.

        C'est la vie!

      • Brrobotix

        Maybe try justifying why you didn't choose the big names next time (like all the bugs in Shadowrun)? Idk you guys are usually pretty fair when it comes to things like this, so I trust your judgment, but from the video I didn't really see that this game had the depth of a bigger release like Shadowrun. That, and from the video I realized that this game reminds me a lot of a flash game I've played online once called "run", which featured the same premise only you changed platforms in 90 degree increments. So it wasn't that new to me. Idk, I like to see games that are ambitious and push iOS gaming forward. I just didn't feel like Boson X really did that.

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

        That's not really the point of the GOTW, how much depth it has or anything like that. Maybe we should make this boilerplate, but this is the introduction from our very first GOTW:

        "The idea is every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our TouchArcade Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us just shouting it out in the war room I mentioned earlier over what game we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one."

        Like I said, it was a tough week to pick just one. When it's close like this I usually give the nod to the game that I play when I should have been doing something else more productive, the game I can't help but click the icon when I'm swiping through my phone intending to do/play a different app. Some other games hijacked my productivity in that way this week too, but none more than this one.

      • Wizard_Mike

        I couldn't care less about indie versus big name releases. For me, it's all about the game.

        Reading the article and watching the video leaves me with the impression that this is a really cool runner with ten lanes, rather than the typical three. Some platforms are colored and running on them fills up the "unlock next area" meter. Other than those mechanics, it just looks like an endless runner. A pretty cool looking one, I'll admit, but still just an endless runner. My impressions could be very well off the mark, which is why I asked what I was missing about this game in my original comment.

        But I'm still left with those impressions, and when I take those impressions and compare them to some of the other releases this week, such as Reaper, Shadow Vamp, or even Tower of Fortune 2, I can't help but be confused over this game getting gotw. I'm not complaining, I'm simply surprised. I might wager that a lot of the seemingly hostile comments are made by people with similar sentiments, but lack the emotional maturity to articulate those feelings, so they just spew negativity. Kind of like how a toddler just hits everything because he can't express that it was juice he wanted, rather than milk. Same principle, just... with "grown ups", lol.

        Anyways, I never played super hexagon, and that seems to be a huge factor of this game's appeal. Would it be accurate to say that those who have played super hexagon will appreciate this game more than those who have not? If so, then perhaps you can understand why those of us who have not are surprised that this game made the top of the list this week.

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

        I think what I said to robotix above sort of answers this too. It seems like you're wondering how this could be the single best game against others, but it's not about it being the best game. Just the game we played the most/game we had the most fun with/game we found interesting or unique for one reason or another. That's all.

        As to whether you have to have played SH to appreciate this game, no I don't think so. I've already seen a few people who say they didn't like SH but love Boson X. Go figure.

        Still, you may like one, the other, both or neither, it all depends. What bums me out is that people might miss out on something special because they're dismissing it based on looks alone.

      • Wizard_Mike

        Thanks for the reply. Actually, you directly answered a question that I had meant to ask, which was the nature of how the gotw was picked. Was it the review score topper for the week, or just the game that was the most fun to play (because one does not always guarantee the other).

        Knowing that it's more of a "Hey, out of all the games this week, we've played this one the most because it's just so damned fun," rather than a technical score kind of thing changes the entire nature of what I thought the gotw pick was all about.

        A disclaimer to that effect for each gotw article might be a good idea. To help those idiots who have a misconstrued idea of what the gotw is all about. *whistles innocently* Something like: "Each week, we let the players know which of the week's releases has been played to most around the TA office. While there may be other games with higher technical scores, this is the one that had us hooked the most." Or something along those lines. :P

    • speedyph

      Not over shadowrun

  • FledgeFish

    No sure everyone is talking down to this game. It's SUPER fun. It's not the typical endless runner people think.

    • B30

      Why, it looks like a typical runner to me? You run and jump and run and jump and then again — you run and jump ...

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

        You just described every platforming game too, yet I would never say Super Meat Boy is the same as Super Mario World.

      • B30

        Yep, now that you mention that, you're probably right.

  • Naraka

    Do another video with you enjoying the game. It makes no sense with the article as is.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Watch more than the first 30 seconds.

  • armilla

    Though this game is described as Temple Run meets Super Hexagon, its spirit reminds me more of Canabalt (it has the same sense of gaining speed for higher & farther jumps). I definitely think this is worthy of a GOTW nomination.

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

      Very good call. It's really only like TR in that it's "behind the back," mechanically it's a lot more similar to Canabalt.

  • thesidewaystable

    Why not just play it for free on the Internet?

  • NOEN

    WTH? This beat out Gangsta Auto Thief??

  • NaughtHere

    Smaug, temple run isn't the only kind of endless runner.

    Here's what I see: You run and jump as long as you can. You can switch planes like other endless runners. The longer you hold jump the bigger the jump. That's standard endless runner mechanics.

    For those claiming that anyone calling this "just another endless runner" are wrong, why not explain why this is so different.

    • McCREE

      Play Super Hexagon and you can figure out the appeal all by yourself.

      • NaughtHere

        I have.

    • Smaug

      More things coming at you in this game. Jump mechanics and physics are very smoothed out. Much more similar to canabalt and also it is far more twitchy than temple run and canabalt- play super hexagon and you'll understand.

      • NaughtHere

        I have played super hexagon and it wasn't as mind- blowing as people here are making it sound.

      • McCREE

        If SH isn't your style of game, this won't be either. Move along.

      • Goggles789

        You see, I hated SH. It was just so damned frustrating. Boson X, on the other hand, had me engaged for nearly 2 hours. I think the comparisons to SH are numerous, but the actual qualities they share are minimal, at best.

      • NaughtHere

        Oh, I'm sorry, did I say super hexagon wasn't my style of game? Didn't think so. Is it overhyped? Yes.

        Way to contribute to the discussion.

  • phonecats

    looks like greedy dwarf beta

  • mikeg1234

    Jared, I commend you on your choice. I hadn't given Boson X much thought until this article, and now I can't stop playing it! But next time I'd appreciate it if you'd pick the game that *I* want for GotW. ;-)

  • Flare_TM

    Amigo Pancho and Cat on a Diet are more fun than this

  • MarsMachine

    This is not an endless runner! It is kind of hard to describe why. It is more a kind of twitchy, reflex testing brain teaser. It looks like a runner but when playing, it feels different. I think it is the fact that you are not running but moving the platforms strategically to create the best path to reach the 100% on each level. You move the environment with the left & right keys, but to jump straight forward you need hold left and right together, the longer you hold, the longer the jump. So even the jumping needs precise timing. This mechanic is confusing in the beginning but once you get used to it, it makes sense. In the first level you need to hit the green platforms to fill up the percentage meter and each new particle (new level) adds a new crazy mechanic, like when you hit red platforms the coming platforms shift up, which makes them almost impossible to reach. I just started playing this game and already at the second level it gets manic! Btw I didn't enjoy Super Hexagon. It was a bit too abstract and too simple for me, more like a pure reflex tester, but this actually feels like a real game! Add the cool graphics (think of Another World) and awesome tunes and you got a winner! One of the best features are the stats on the game over screen showing an overview of your previous runs in a stock market like chart with the peaks and lows. Just give it a try, it rocks!

  • Arnaud_B

    For all those complain about this week choice : Try boson X before chitchating. This is the runner game you can't stop you to play, for hours every days...

  • ziekke

    This game is punishingly hard. Wasn't kidding when he said "You're going to die, and you're going to die a lot."

  • http://yourarcadeathome.com/ Anna Finch

    I love touch arcade games... nice post