Category Archives: Runner

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 EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 4 stars, Games, Reviews, Runner, Sports, Universal
$1.99 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 [$0.99] had softened me up first, but either way, I had to try Sleepy Z's Ski Safari 2 [$1.99]...

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...

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. ..

'Race the Sun' Review - The Hit Mobile Game Finally Comes to Mobile

Remember Cube Runner [Free]? Of course you do. It was probably one of the first games you put on your iPhone back in the day. It had some smooth 3D visuals and fun quick-reaction type gameplay that was a perfect fit for mobile. Well, flash forward five or six years and the New Hotness in town is a little game by Flippfly called Race the Sun [$4.99], which is… well, it’s pretty much the same thing. So why is everyone getting so excited about it?..

It's tough to really tell what's interesting these days on the App Store, but something the other day caught my eye with Downhill Riders [Free]'s app icon -- a kid in a shopping cart going downhill, bringing back fond memories of watching Jackass with friends. It's not quite everything I had hoped for, but most runner enthusiasts will want to give it a shot...

One of the finest publishers, curators even, of mobile games has always been [adult swim]. Every game they bring to mobile through their partnerships is either funny, creative, or at least different or interesting in some way. Try Harder[Free] from Glitchnap falls violently and repeatedly in the latter camp. It’s an endless runner, which isn’t exactly a rarity on the App Store, but it’s almost an experimental game. While it isn’t amazing and it isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely interesting, and worth playing for the unique experience. If you enjoy difficult games, this might be your jam...

Poor old Sonic The Hedgehog. He's been celebrating his 24th birthday recently, and to commemorate the occasion, SEGA has baked him a moist, delicious cake and topped it with inedible sludge. Sonic Runners [Free] has finally come out of its soft launch, and it's unfortunately still plagued with all of the problems it suffered from right from the very moment it set foot on the Japanese App Store. That this particular mixed bag comes from Sonic Team themselves is hardly surprising when you break down exactly what's wrong and right with it. Is it salvageable? Absolutely. Will it be? I wish I could say...

There are plenty of things I appreciate about Cartoon Survivor [Free], a new isometric platformer from Australia-based Spunge Games. Most immediately, it has a strong and cohesive visual design, full of bright colors and cute animations. The level designs are clever and packed with secrets to find, some of which may require you to come back with gear you'll earn later in order to get the best time. There are unlockables both of the cosmetic and practical type, giving you something tangible to shoot for as you play through. It also gives you enough levels for free to get a feel for the game before it asks you to pay to unlock the rest, and in an unusual turn, allows you grind up in-game currency and pay that way. You're probably waiting for the other shoe to drop right about now, and it will. But don't worry, it's only a little shoe. A booty, at best...

'8-Bit Waterslide' Review - Why the Long Face?

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June 15th, 2015 3:30 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in $1.99, 3.5 stars, Games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
99¢ Buy Now

I often find myself wondering if humanity is heading for a future like the one portrayed in Mike Judge's Idiocracy. The gist of the film, for those who haven't sent it, is that smart people don't "breed" as often as stupid people, which will therefore create a future society populated entirely by idiots. Everything from the food they eat to the shows they watch on TV are as unsophisticated as possible, and--even though the film is a comedy--I must admit it sends a small chill down my spine whenever I see something particularly low brow take off in our current popular culture. Could this be the beginning of the end? I think to myself...

'Lara Croft: Relic Run' Review - Temple Fun

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May 29th, 2015 4:30 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4 stars, Free, Games, Reviews, Runner, Universal
Free Buy Now

Some of you may recall a bit of controversy earlier this year over the fact that Temple Run 2 [Free] (and many similar games) didn’t let you play as a female character unless you paid for the privilege. This was brought to the attention of The Washington Post by a pretty awesome 6th grader who argued that it could be a form of gender discrimination, even if the developers didn’t intend it that way. Luckily, Imangi and several other devs took steps toward fixing the situation, but it’s no secret these types of games (and the industry as a whole) still have a ways to go. Well, stepping into the fray with tiny shorts and guns blazing is Lara Croft with her own take on the behind-the-back-runner formula. You’re welcome, women everywhere...

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