Category Archives: Runner

'Dark Guardians' Review - Style Over Substance

StarStarStarNoneNone
April 22nd, 2014 9:56 AM EDT by Chris Carter in $1.99, 3 stars, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
$1.99 Buy Now

Runners come in all shapes and sizes, but often times, flashy is one of the many coats of colors it may wear. Dark Guardians [$1.99] is a beautiful game that looks very similar to the aesthetic design of the Kickstarter success Banner Saga, but sadly it doesn't have the mechanical chops to prop it up beyond its pretty veneer...

Hurtling endlessly forward, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, avoiding obstacles that will put a quick end to your trek. Collecting coins to upgrade abilities between rounds, completing missions to earn a rank up that adds to your multiplier. Grabbing a collectible item, you're sent soaring up to a bonus area packed full of coins. Maybe this time you'll finally earn enough coins to unlock those pricey new characters, each of whom has a unique trait. Skyline Skaters [Free] isn't going to win any awards for originality...

'Smash Hit' Review - Madness with Marbles

Some people can't get enough of endless runners. The concept of chasing a carrot on a stick and collecting tons of miniature carrots along the way has its own allure, but there's no denying that the same concept is often used over and over to the point of boredom. Smash Hit [Free] turns the runner concept on its head with a first-person perspective, beautiful graphics centered around objects made of glass, and a completely fair free-to-play system that actually works. You could say it's a... smash hit...

If you're a big mobile gamer, you've probably played more running games than you can shake a sneaker at. Whether it's side-scrolling or behind the back, the App Store is full of unimaginative examples of the genre. Because of this crowded market, there are quite a few games in the genre that depend on a gimmick, particularly if they don't have a popular character or license to lean on. Adventure Land [Free], in most respects, is a pretty by-the-numbers side-scrolling infinite runner. You run towards the right, shooting or jumping over obstacles, collect coins, and pick up the occasional health pick-up. Things go faster and get more hectic the longer you play, seeing how far you can get. Adventure Land has a gimmick, though, and it's a truly cool one. In fact, it's probably the most interesting gimmick I've seen in a runner in quite a long time...

Sports games tend to go in one of a few different directions. Some of them opt for hard realism, trying to capture every nuance of the sport in a very clinical way. The aim here is to try to give the player the exact feeling of playing the sport. Others go the route of Tony Hawk, where it's kind of realistic in some ways, but fantastical in others. These games are cool because you're usually following the rules of the sport, but it makes you feel like you're a superhuman player. Another way to go is to pitch out any pretenses of reality and just go wild. The familiar surface gives something for the players to connect to, but the end result usually feels less like a sports game and more like another genre. Endless Surf [$0.99], the sequel to Bobble Surfer [$0.99] is from the latter school of thought. Looking at screenshots, you would think this was a Tony Hawk-style take on surfing, but it's actually pretty much a straight-forward runner with an interesting skin...

What do you suppose ran through the mind of your nameless, faceless, Indiana Jones-wannabe adventurer when he desecrated an ancient Egyptian temple and awoke hundreds of bloodthirsty mummies from their eternal slumber? "I should have parked closer to the temple" would be my guess. His predicament is our gain, as Escape from Doom [$1.99] is a rollicking good time...

Old school games are often filled with technical limitations that made them harder than they otherwise would have been. The modern term for this is "fake difficulty," and although it's a bit of an overused catch-all to describe challenging games, it often applies to many works, even today. Trambo [$1.99] is one such game that often feels unfair as a result of its design, but masochists will still find a lot to like despite its flaws...

When all else fails, novelty can do a lot for a game. On The Line [$0.99] isn't a very deep or complex game, but it does present an interesting spin on the endless running genre that's bound to appeal to some despite its simple nature. We've seen almost every kind of hero in this genre, from a man in a suit to Garfield, but I think this is the first time we've had an endless game where your finger is the main character. It's not as fully-realized as one might hope, but its unique concept is worth checking out if you're looking for something a little bit off the beaten path...

I've got a bone to pick with Rare. As far as I know, the studio's most popular NES game, Battletoads, consisted of only three levels. The first was a straight beat-em-up. You walked to the right and beat the snot out of giant bipedal pigs and walker robots. In the second level, you rappelled down a pit. The third level, Turbo Tunnel, was the end of the line. You jumped on a motorbike, and you sped to the right down this two-lane road, swerving up and down to avoid colored walls. Only you couldn't avoid them for long because one instant they were materializing and the next you had pancaked against them...

The worst thing about Platforms Unlimited is that it denies you vengeance. My fellow run-and-jumpers know what I'm talking about. You die at a certain point in a platformer, so you retry, and you die again, and again--until at long last, something clicks, and you bound over the pit, or enemy, or whatever-it-was that had sapped so many lives from your once-ripe supply of continues. But that's, like, all part of the Platforms Unlimited [$0.99] experience, man. ..

Last week, we introduced you to a game inspired by the notoriously difficult Turbo Tunnel level from the NES classic Battletoads. Well that game, called Toad Rider [Free], has jumped the gun on the typical Wednesday night releases and is now available in the App Store. Just like that famed Turbo Tunnel level, you'll control a toad riding a hover-bike of sorts as you avoid walls, traps and other hazards, across a variety of landscapes, until you inevitably screw up and end your run. I've only spent a brief time with it so far, but I have to say, I'm really digging Toad Rider...

Never has a video-game title more aptly summed up its experience than Marvel Run Jump Smash [$0.99], and it's as fun as it you would assume. Marvel RJS puts you in the spandex-clad bodies of iconic heroes that came blasting out of the mind of Stan Lee like webbing from Petey Parker's web-shooters--but with a twist. You start out as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.--either Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury or, uh, some other person who is not Samuel L. Jackson--and run, jump, and shoot your way through bad guys and obstacles like gouts of flame and electric gates. Along the way, you'll come across hero tokens that bear the likenesses of one of the four superheroes you set to your active team before starting the game...

Marvel announced back at Comic Con this past October that they'd be bringing a Marvel Superheroes auto-runner to the iOS platform, and early this morning, Marvel Run Jump Smash! [$0.99] went live in the App Store. Now, the idea behind Marvel Run Jump Smash! is pretty awesome on paper: you'll pick a base S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to start with, then pick a team of superheroes from Marvel's extensive stable. As you play using your S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, you'll come across icons for the various superheroes on your team which allow you to then play as them for a brief period. Each of the superheroes have their own unique abilities too, like Hulk with his downward bash move and Iron Man with his ability to fly...

A while ago, I reviewed Gameloft's Despicable Me: Minion Rush [Free] here at TouchArcade and found that while it wasn't really doing anything special, it was pretty solid all around and had a lot of charm. Like many of Gameloft's games, it's seen quite a few updates and addded content, so I've never quite brought myself to deleting it off my device, whipping it out now and then for a run or to let my son have a go...

Several comic book artists have thrown their hats into the video game ring throughout the history of the industry. Most of them have stuck to the art end of things, designing characters or producing cover art, but a few of them have tried their hand at a larger role. The results have been mixed, to be sure. After a handful of botched games based on the character, Spawn's creator Todd McFarlane was more closely involved in the development of Spawn: Armageddon, to similarly poor results. On the high end, Joe Mad was the creative director of the absolutely wonderful Darksiders from THQ. Well, we can add another to that group with the release of Oasis: Path to Redemption [$1.99] from artist Steve Uy, who has done work for Marvel and Image. It's strong in areas you might expect and a few you might not, but some serious pacing issues hurt the game quite a bit...

Copyright 2014, TouchArcade.com, LLC.