That’s right, Hurdle Turtle [99¢]. TouchArcade cohort Eli Hodapp and I have been enjoying this silly game for the past couple of months since release, and felt it was high time for a full review. Sometimes its hard to explain exactly why someone likes a certain game, and Hurdle Turtle is no different. It’s an endless running game that’s certainly fun, but it doesn’t do anything especially unique from the countless others out there. Still, whether its the hilarious front flips your turtle performs, the way it looks like he (or she) might be having a seizure while running, or the excellent retro chip tunes and blocky graphics, there’s just something about Hurdle Turtle that makes it infinitely likable.
Hurdle Turtle has been around for a while now, as a Flash game and an Xbox Live Indie title. The goal is to run for as long as possible down a straight track while avoiding obstacles and keeping pace with an increasing speed. You can move in any direction while running, and bust wicked front flips with a jump button. You can even move around in the air during a jump, which adds a bit of strategy to how you deal with oncoming hazards. It’s not groundbreaking for a running game, but it doesn’t mess up the tried and true formula.
What really sets Hurdle Turtle apart is the awesome style of the game. Your turtle is cute, and has a lot of personality for a blocky sprite, and the retro chip tune music is catchy. A huge 2.0 update that hit last week added a ton of new content to the game, too. There is now a total of 11 different turtles to pick from, and three different environments to race in. The game keep track of your total distance run across all games, and each of these new items unlock at set different distance intervals, adding a nice sense of progression to the gameplay. High scores are tracked through a combination of OpenFeint and Game Center, with achievements to unlock as well.
Let’s be honest, expectations run pretty high on the App Store, especially when you’re talking about spending an entire dollar. I’m sure there are those who will wonder what exactly is so special about Hurdle Turtle, and complain that the graphics aren’t as good as Infinity Blade [$5.99]. But at the end of the day video games are supposed to make you smile, and have fun during a quick break from real life, and I’ve been doing a ton of both with Hurdle Turtle. If you could use a bit of cute, retro fun and have some spare change lying around, give Hurdle Turtle a download.