Category Archives: Runner

Lost In Harmony [$3.99] is the latest game from Yoan Fanise, whose work at Ubisoft included directing Valiant Hearts [Free] and Rayman Raving Rabbids, along with sound design and audio direction on titles such as Beyond Good & Evil, Rabbids Go Home, and Assassin's Creed 3. With that kind of resume, it's perhaps not surprising that Lost In Harmony attempts to be an audio/visual spectacle, a heart-wrenching experience, and a unique hybrid of gameplay styles all at once. It succeeds completely on the first point and reasonably well on the second, but there are some definite issues that crop up with the third point. You can get a lot out of Lost In Harmony, but you're going to have to forgive a few things along the way...

Last month brought the release of Oddrok's Power Hover [$2.99], a behind-the-back hoverboarding game with an incredibly stylish look. Now, a little over a month later and Oddrok has begun teasing some of what to expect in the game's first content update. Backing up a bit, one of the things we loved most about Power Hover in our review is the number of truly interesting environments you got to hoverboard around in, and how cinematic the game could feel with its dynamic camera changing between various dramatic angles. Basically, with the cool visuals, great music, and smooth movement, Power Hover is a game that's simply fun to play and is the perfect game to kind of zone out with. So, as for the update, Oddrok says you can expect a brand new snow level and they've offered up a .gif preview which you can see below...




'Badland 2' Review - The Pursuit of Flappiness

It’s weird how much gaming has changed since I was a kid. In the old days, sequels usually meant a game would be bigger and better in nearly every way, with more levels, characters, new modes, etc. Consider Perfect Dark, the spiritual sequel to Goldeneye 007, for example. It was absolutely bursting with new stuff to do. There was the campaign and multiplayer (like Goldeneye), but it also had a brand new challenge mode, a gun range, a co-op and counter-op campaign mode, a main menu that you could walk around in, and a massive customizable bot mode that I lost a large chunk of my adolescence to. These days, though, things are a bit different. Because games tend to have more content added through updates and DLC, that means version 1.0 of a sequel can often feel a bit lacking. It’s especially striking when you consider iOS classic Badland [$2.99], which is certainly one of the most updated games I can think of. It’s the reverse of my Perfect Dark example, where the original game is the one now bursting with levels and modes while the sequel feels a bit sparse in comparison. It’s an interesting problem to have, but even despite that, I think Badland 2 [$3.99] is a superior game to the original, with the potential to surpass it many times over in terms of quality and amount of content...

There's something to be said about striking the cultural zeitgeist at the right time. Power Hover [$2.99] drops right when people are getting into hoverboards, what with the fascination over this being the year that Back to the Future Part 2 took place in, and those little scooter things that are called hoverboards despite not actually hovering. But I guess they have no better name. Point is, hoverboards are blowing up. Literally. And Power Hover is here to be an entertaining game where you race through deserts, on the ocean, and through tubes, on a hoverboard. It's solid if not amazing, but fun for the time you'll sink into it...

Rayman is one of those franchises that always lights my face up when I play it. Despite my issues with a few of the older games, the newer generation of titles have been nothing short of amazing, and I'm including both mobile runners in that conversation. Rayman Jungle Run [$2.99] and Rayman Fiesta Run [$2.99] were excellent translations of the formula to the mobile platform, and although they're technically runners, they operate more like a platformer hybrid, and don't sacrifice any of the quality that the series is known for. Rayman Adventures [Free] is more of the same in that regard, with several holdups inherently related to its free-to-play nature...

In September of last year a quirky little snowboarding game called Shred It! [Free] was released by developer Extra Mile Studios. Shred It! had an incredibly charming papercraft art style that gave it a really unique look, and really solid "behind the back runner" style snowboarding gameplay that worked well on the touchscreen. Unfortunately, finicky touch detection and a lack of content caused Shred It! to largely fly under the radar when it released. Extra Mile addressed that by updating the game with greatly improved touchscreen controls, a Checkpoint Challenge mode, and several seasonal content updates for Halloween, Christmas and New Years. Its last update was way back in January, but with winter in full swing and snowboarding being a winter pastime, a new Shred It! update has just landed that rejuvenates this overlooked little gem...

Choice Provisions have just released a new endless runner based on the Bit.Trip series, called Go! Go! CommanderVideo [Free], and it's available as a free download. This uses the same basic principles as Bit.Trip Run [$2.99], but is simplified for more of a simple, casual game. You can only jump, either short or long by quickly tapping or tapping and holding, respectively. The game throws some awfully difficult platforming sections your way, and you need to react and make your way across the perilous platforms at a very fast rate. The gold you collect can be used to unlock new costumes and customizations...

Earlier this year, Jonathan Lanis released Kayos [Free], a fun entry in the genre of what I'm calling horizon runners, along with Race the Sun [$4.99] and Breakneck [Free]. But Lanis has decided to go a different direction with the 2.0 update to Kayos, shifting the perspective from behind the back of your flight craft, to something angled higher above, in the game's new Survival mode. You don't have any boost or shields, you're just tilting from side to side, trying to dodge all the obstacles in your way. Good thing that you have the ability to see farther than you could before...

Sometimes, with a unique hook and an amusing trailer, even an endless runner can catch my attention nowadays. Such is the case with Classy Quest [Free], a new action runner from Raredrop Games that launched yesterday afternoon. The idea is pretty simple: touch the left side of the screen to jump, and the right side to shoot a projectile, like Monster Dash [Free] and the like. The twist comes from the many, many different classes you can transform into by collecting the large green gems during play. ..

RPG mechanics, if implemented correctly, can give a game a shot in the arm when it comes to replay value. If done poorly, it can create the feeling of a grind, which are unfortunately often paired with enticing microtransactions. While it's a fine line to walk, I feel like a lot of mobile games are doing it right, and entice players to forge on, getting the best pieces of gear like any fully-fledged release. One such game is Dash Quest [Free] -- a runner with a ton of goodies to sift through...

It was kind of surprising how long it took Sega to make an endless runner featuring Sonic the Hedgehog on iOS. Thankfully, when Sonic Dash [Free] finally appeared a few years ago, it was actually pretty solid (as far as free-to-play behind-the-back runners go, of course). In my opinion the recently released sequel, Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom [Free] is even better, so I’ve decided to put together some tips and tricks to help you be the blue-iest blur this side of Green Hill Zone...

Skeletomb [Free], by Punk Labs, is a retro-style endless dungeon crawler set in a pixelated fantasy world whose "blocky" design is a nod to Minecraft's infamous aesthetic. With precious few lives, this game will have you frantically dashing, jumping, and swinging to try to survive as long as possible and climb deeper into this fun but deadly world. There are 28 characters to unlock, including a White Knight, a Skeleton, the "Dan in a Box" (think Jack-in-a-Box with a club), a Jester, and the Viking-like Bourboness, to name a few. The game doesn't take itself too seriously, which is an appropriate match to the quirky and simple art style. ..

I feel like every week I'm writing about another game adopting Crossy Road's free-to-play scheme. There's a good reason for that, as the ability to play for an unlimited amount of time, unfettered from energy mechanics, is a great feeling, and developers seem to be picking up on that. As it stands The Balloons - Endless Floater [Free] isn't quite as entertaining, but it's still a charming pixelated romp through the sky...

'Mos Speedrun 2' Review - But Wait, There's More

When it comes to game developers, you should not expect reasonable practicality from them. Their dreams far exceed their ability to deliver. I mean, if you've ever backed a Kickstarter project, you know, because they were at least late on delivering it. And Star Citizen has somehow turned into "The creator of Wing Commander wants to make a new space game" into a multinational crowdfunded AAA nightmare. The point being that when a game developer promises you the moon, you should expect a large rock at best. Except in the case of Mos Speedrun 2 [$1.99], a game made by some real crazy people. It's so crazy, that it's got secret items that only appear on certain days. Secret areas that house difficult-to-collect golden skulls are often more difficult than the actual levels themselves. One of the developers watching me stream the game said that I missed several secrets in one level alone. They somehow managed to jam-pack everything they ever could possibly stick into a speedrun game, and it is absurd...

One of this year's sleeper hits has been Afterlight Collective's Samurai Blitz [Free]. Hey that rhymes! Arriving back in July, Samurai Blitz accomplished the difficult task of making an endless runner feel fresh with its super fun mechanics and super gorgeous visuals. We loved it in our review, but if there was any sort of negative to lob towards Samurai Blitz it's that it was maybe a bit too simplistic. Well, in August we learned of Afterlight's plans to expand on Samurai Blitz in a number of ways with a massive version 2.0 update. Today we have a glimpse of all this new stuff in action in this brand new trailer...

When Subway Surfers [Free] came out in 2012, I'm pretty sure the developers had no idea how long the game would remain popular and that it would actually reach one billion downloads across platforms a few years later. According to the press release, Subway Surfers is now the fourth most downloaded game of all time, not a bad record, I think. I was sitting at a coffee shop a few days ago, and three kids next to me - no more than ten years old - were playing Subway Surfers for about an hour, discussing the whole time how to get the most points and how not to die. The game managed to hit the sweet spot between challenge and entertainment and really made the endless runner recipe work smoothly...

'Blocky Highway' Review - Voxel Vehicles

I've had a new wind when it comes to racing games lately. There's a boon on iOS in terms of MFi compatible games, and gyro controls have come a long way since they were introduced so many years ago. While racing is the perfect subgenre to exploit any energy system, the developers of Blocky Highway [Free] have managed to craft a limitless experience that follows the same generous IAP principle as Crossy Road...

PikPok’s latest game Breakneck [Free] had my attention early. It looked like a cross between Race the Sun [$4.99] and Star Wars Episode I: Racer, which is basically one of my favorite Nintendo 64 games crossed with one of my favorite recent iOS games. How could I possibly say no to that? It’s not possible, and I didn’t say no. So here I am, weeks later, finally playing the thing. Was it worth the wait? Well… kinda...

'Ski Safari 2' Review - Also Adventure

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September 4th, 2015 11:30 AM EST by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Reviews, Runner, Sports, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

I enjoyed the original Ski Safari [$0.99], but I didn’t love it. I played it for a few days, but it seemed like one of those runners that takes forever to get challenging. I grew tired of doing the same thing for ten-plus minutes only to die and find that I hadn’t beat my previous score yet. Sure, the game had a good amount of variety in the different animals you could ride and stuff, but it still didn’t keep my attention for long. Flash forward a few years, and I have to admit this sequel looked pretty sweet. Maybe the gorgeous Alto’s Adventure [$3.99] had softened me up first, but either way, I had to try Sleepy Z's Ski Safari 2 [$0.99]...

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But in the mobile world, developers are often subject to clones -- where games are almost copied wholesale from the original. Having said that, there are occasions where games may start entire subgenres, like in the case of Angry Birds. Yes, almost everyone knows that Crush the Castle (and the numerous tank titles before that) was "first," but at this point Rovio has refined the formula enough to call it its own. Although we're a bit early in the "Crossy Road" genre, Blocky Raider [Free] does a few unique things that allow it to make a name for itself...

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