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.
It’s a lane-based game, so simply swiping up or down on the screen will maneuver your craft into each lane. As in Turbo Tunnel, one of your main hazards is a wall, and you’ll be alerted as to when a wall is coming up in any given lane by a handy arrow at the edge of the screen. Mad scientists, who were apparently using toads as test subjects, will also hover in Dr. Robotnik-style and drop walls, fire, and other hazards into your lane. Beyond those, there’s also glass barriers which you’ll need to swipe forwards in order to break through, lasers which you’ll need to tap to hop over, and jump ramps which you’ll need to hit in order to leap across huge gaps.
Toad Riders definitely feels very inspired by that Turbo Tunnel level from Battletoads, but it doesn’t feel like it plays in exactly the same way. That’s not a bad thing either. The controls are tight and the action ramps up at a good pace, so eventually you’re swiping and tapping by the seat of your pants, and it’s a lot of fun. Toad Riders also features an array of power-ups, additional characters and new vehicles which you can unlock by collecting coins. Pretty standard endless runner type stuff, but the additional characters and vehicles seem especially interesting as they have their own unique sets of abilities which can help you out during play.
One of the coolest things about Toad Riders is its trick system. While jumping over hazards or gaps, an additional tap or swipe will perform a trick which will net you extra points. Repeated tricks in the same jump will multiply those points. So, seeing as this is a high-scoring game, there’s a strong risk/reward factor as you try to cram tricks in whenever possible, but that ends up making things even more hectic and increasing your probability of totally flubbing and ending your run. Great stuff.
The game is a buck and has in-app purchases, but as with most runners like this, there’s nothing you’ll have to buy to enjoy the game. Currency is earned at a decent pace just through normal play, but you could turbo-charge that with a coin doubler IAP if you wanted. I personally look at all the unlockables as goals, even if some of them might take a lot of time to unlock, so I’m on the fence about whether or not I want to speed the process up with the doubler. Anyway, if you’re looking for a new runner Toad Rider seems like a safe bet, and the folks in our forums appear to be enjoying their time with it too.