In early July a simple little endless runner named Samurai Blitz [Free] caught me by surprise. I know, I know, endless runners are SO blasé nowadays, but something about this one was different. The jumping mechanic felt really good, and there was the ability to attack with your sword and you could actually chain together combos by slashing enemies in succession while in the air. It was so cool! Something about playing Samurai Blitz just clicked in all the right ways, and on top of that it had excellent pixel art and animations which gave the whole game a lot of personality. It brought me back to the days of when Monster Dash [Free] and even Canabalt [$2.99] were the hot new thing.

Anyway, it wasn't just me that found something special in Samurai Blitz, as we praised it in our own review and lots of people in our forums fell similarly in love. Developer Studio Thunderhorse seems pleased the game has found a nice fanbase, and are planning on adding a whole bunch of new stuff in a huge version 2.0 update soon. What type of new stuff? Pets! You'll soon be able to have a pet auto-running by your side, much like the panda is in the .gif below. And below that is a .gif showing off a winged pet inside one of the game's new spooky environments. Check it out!

Studio Thunderhorse has been pretty quiet about what other types of features will be in the forthcoming update, but they did mention there will be "A lot more things to collect soon!" which bodes well for those who enjoy collecting all the nifty power-ups and outfits in the game. My one major gripe with Samurai Blitz is that the game only tracks distance ran as a way of keeping score. There's no points for killing enemies or anything like that, so the extremely cool and satisfying combo system is sort of useless as you run a much lower risk of dying if you simply stay running at the bottom of the screen and try to avoid enemies at all costs. There's so much potential to do something cool with the attack-chaining combo system, I hope they figure something out at some point.

Anyway, that's not to say Samurai Blitz isn't a ton of fun, because it is, and going for high maximum distance is still very satisfying. I'm looking forward to the upcoming pets as well as whatever else Thunderhorse has planned for the game, as it's easily my favorite runner in recent memory. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already and look for version 2.0 soon.

  • djstout

    Definitely the best endless runners this year! I love the artworks, the controls and the way the devs are working on it! A bit similar to Ronin which was also a killer of a endless runner or Tanuki Forest which unfortunately disappeared. For those who haven't download it yet, it's time to grab this little gem!

    • chief78

      Nice catch on Ronin, and I couldn't agree more. Best endless runner by a large margin this year!

  • Joe Burkett

    it just needs missions to earn more coins etc... but other wise pretty bad ass game. And i think the combos are for the higher the combo the more coins fallout of enemies.

  • LordShad0wz

    Absolutely one of my favorite games of the year. I gladly spent money on Iap to support the devs and watch ads everytime I play. And I'm an anti ad nut lol I love this game. I love the developers. I talked with one on Facebook. Just all around great experience. I can't wait for the update! I want a panda. And my panda will slay.

  • MarsMachine

    A panda following my every step? Hell, yes! I love this game too! But these things would make it even more awesome for me:
    - Option to skip the score screen or restart immediately to get back to it
    - Instant restart button in game or in the pause menu, in case you are having a bad run.
    - Highscore for total enemies killed

    I think these things are essential for good, one-more-try-runners! Excellent work devs, keep it up & I will gladly pay a buck or two IAP for that panda!