Last month, The Guardian posted the findings of a survey of 2,000 British children and parents focused on the impact technology is having on the younger generation. Unsurprisingly, with the rise of tablets in the household, kids are reading less and less. It makes sense, in a way, as back in my day there wasn't a whole lot to do other than read as a kid who got booted off the family TV so your parents could watch something other than you playing Nintendo.

Now days? Junior can happily plug away at Angry Birds for hours on the old hand-me-down iPad. This is where kids and family game developer No Crust Interactive comes into play with the release of Strike & Prejudice [$1.99]. In a nutshell, it's an endless runner with the similar gameplay and controls that we've seen in the bazillion other products in the proverbial "Runner" aisle on the App Store, with one major difference- The platforms you run on are the actual text from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

It's got two game modes, "marathon mode" which always starts at the beginning of the book with your progress judged by how deep into the book you make it before dying and "reader mode" which always starts you off where it left off.

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Playing Stride & Prejudice is an odd experience, as your brain's platformer muscle memory kicks in and controls your pixelized Lizzy Bennet easily hopping between sentences as you can't help but read the text that's scrolling by. The platforming itself is on the easy side, and Pride and Prejudice is a great book so you find yourself playing way longer than you typically would play a otherwise basic runner.

I'm not sure how much I'd recommend downloading it, as obviously there are better runners out there, and bouncing along sentences will never compare to something like Canabalt [$2.99]... But, it's a really clever concept, which deserves some form of virtual hat tip, if nothing else.

  • toxiccheese

    WTF?!? That is all...

  • David Clarke

    Now now, don't everyone shout INSTABUY at once.

  • Jake7905

    Look out for the follow-up, 'Sense and Speed Running'. And maybe a spin-off like, like 'Crime and Carb Buring'.

    • Lazer Kat

      I'll pretend those jokes were never made.

      • Lazer Kat

        After all, I'm more of a "Fear & Strolling in Las Vegas" fan.

      • timmis6010

        Naked Lunch-abalt

  • Andy C83

    The developer's heart is in the right place, that's to be applauded. But parents should take more responsibility to make sure that their kids are spending as much time reading as gaming, if not more. Preferably with an actual book. :)

    • Jake7905

      That's my only problem with this game, reading an actual book would be much more effective; playing a game while reading the text is slightly self-defeating. But I'm for anything that gets people to read more, and this developer should certainly be applauded. Especially since this is one of the few games that includes a story not based in the fantasy genre.

    • Lazer Kat

      I don't plan for this game to take away from the time my daughter spends learning to read (she's only 3), but I will add this to her time spent gaming.

  • bigred447uk

    I'm strangely compelled to buy this for some reason.

    It would be nice to have a customisable version where you could load up any ebook to read and make the main protagonist with customisable appearance to suit whatever you were reading.

  • curtneedsaride

    This is an AWESOME idea! Way to go. I wish I liked this book... You know, if they could follow this up with Sherlock Holmes and Watson running along text to The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, I'd would be ALL over that! In fact, throw in some options to change text color/font, add a little soundtracky music, and have different faded backgrounds that match each chapter, and that's a runner I would play over and over again. Seriously. Please make that. Sherlock Holmes is all the rage right now. And in the past. And in the future. Think about it. It's elementary.

    • curtneedsaride

      Heck, just let me listen to my music library, and it could have any Sherlock soundtrack from the past few decades!

  • IMNS

    What a noble idea. If only the book was something I could be remotely interested in, I'd be all over it. Or better yet, let us choose our own books/reading material somehow.

    • pdSlooper

      I like the idea of being able to set it to your own book/text.
      m

  • Ramaz1234

    Really cool game. If it was a Game and thrones book omg INSTA BUY!!!

    • Lazer Kat

      They would have to do a lot to make it not get old.
      A 50 hour runner.

      • Ramaz1234

        50 Hour runner oh yaaaaa. For the ultimate pros of the running genre XD

  • oooooomonkey

    I'd buy 50 shades of running ;-)

  • pdSlooper

    Video games are full of text. Really, I tried finding a game for my pre-literate, text-phobic younger family member and it was impossible. The assumption is that kids who are 5 or older are readers.

    Reading video game text isn't viewed as "real" reading because it's too fun and practical. Seriously, that's what it boils down to. "Real" reading is "academic" reading, and nothing is less academic than fun.