Oct 30, 2013
Retro-type games are great. Retro running games are better.
Retro running games that actually work? Welcome to Retro Runners.
Simplicity is boss here, and it runs things very well. It’s a three-laned infinite runner based off of a seemingly endless stretch of straight athletic track. The goal, obviously, is to keep running forward as long as possible.
The problem being that this ain’t your momma’s running track, unless your momma builds tracks with bone shattering obstacles on them. These obstacles start off being somewhat natural: other runners, hurdles placed to cause trouble and water pockets that would make the computer generated amalgamation of Bob Beamon and Mike Powell pause with concern. Even cooler, one hazard that is interestingly cool is the cameraman that hangs just outside the outer lanes. You might like fame, but it will cost you a split second of blindness, which is never good with the aforementioned hurdles all over the place.
To avoid these hurdles, it is necessary to jump or dart out of the way. Quickly, too. The controls are fairly generous, with gestures to the left or right on the leftmost part of the screen controlling lateral movement across lanes, and the right part of the screen accepts vertical gestures that cause the runner to jump. The controls are responsive, which is a must for a game like this.
An interesting idea is the energy requirement; there is an energy bar that is displayed on the left. This bar is depleted at a constant rate while running, and they can be replenished by snagging one of the bottles from race-side volunteers. There are also gold coins that can be collected and redeemed for stuff via in-app purchasing.
When put all together, the gameplay is a witty, fast and faster-paced action adventure. Jumps, power-ups, water hazards, and obstacles all are a part of the play; as the game progresses, the obstacles get tougher. Are those railroad crossing bars? I think so. Brick walls? Check. Did the track just change color? Yep. A CAR?!
Graphically, the game has an interesting, becoming style; the classic look and bright colors lent themselves well to the whole package. Creativity is established, with different characters with different attributes available.
It’s a fun game, simple at heart but capable of spawning plenty of enjoyment.