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.
Anyway, it wasn’t just me that found something special in Samurai Blitz, as we praised it in our own review and lots of people in our forums fell similarly in love. Developer Studio Thunderhorse seems pleased the game has found a nice fanbase, and are planning on adding a whole bunch of new stuff in a huge version 2.0 update soon. What type of new stuff? Pets! You’ll soon be able to have a pet auto-running by your side, much like the panda is in the .gif below. And below that is a .gif showing off a winged pet inside one of the game’s new spooky environments. Check it out!
Studio Thunderhorse has been pretty quiet about what other types of features will be in the forthcoming update, but they did mention there will be “A lot more things to collect soon!" which bodes well for those who enjoy collecting all the nifty power-ups and outfits in the game. My one major gripe with Samurai Blitz is that the game only tracks distance ran as a way of keeping score. There’s no points for killing enemies or anything like that, so the extremely cool and satisfying combo system is sort of useless as you run a much lower risk of dying if you simply stay running at the bottom of the screen and try to avoid enemies at all costs. There’s so much potential to do something cool with the attack-chaining combo system, I hope they figure something out at some point.
Anyway, that’s not to say Samurai Blitz isn’t a ton of fun, because it is, and going for high maximum distance is still very satisfying. I’m looking forward to the upcoming pets as well as whatever else Thunderhorse has planned for the game, as it’s easily my favorite runner in recent memory. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t already and look for version 2.0 soon.