Feb 4, 2014
Hammer Quest is an endless runner game set in an interesting time.
With regards to gameplay, the obvious similarities to Temple Run cannot be ignored, and that isn’t a bad thing. The view comes in abbreviated top-down style, so that it feels like the player is looking just over the head of the running character. The runway is made up of three lanes, any of which can be blocked at any time. Additionally, objects sometimes appear very quickly. Gestures are a big part of the control, and sliding from one lane to the next to avoid obstacles is facilitated by tilting the device in either direction to go left or right.
Swiping to the left or right invokes an attacking motion, while swiping down causes a low slide. Swiping up causes the character to jump. Timing plays a big role in continued movement, as, say, jumping too early can lead to catastrophe.
As hinted at, stayin’ alive â€“ and running â€“ is the idea. What sets this game apart is the implementation of familiar elements. For instance, the run starts off in what is called the canal district, where canals, swinging boxes, fences and such have to be avoided. Further along, in the forest, falling rock and tree branches provide â€œnaturalâ€ obstacles. The creativity is simple, based on a degree of logic and even interesting. Boxes provide the loot needed to upgrade attributes by being busted open by the attack gesture, and the gameplay does get tricky as time goes by, speeding up and doubling up on obstacles. Treasure chests that appear on the runway can be collected and unlocked post-run. As in some endless runners of this type, slight contact with an obstacle can reduce the replenishable life bar. Full on contact that knocks down our runner generally ends the run, at which time points are tallied. Accrued gold can be used to upgrade armor and other features.
In the end, part of the reason this game feels so engaging might be the same reason it may feel a bit tired; The genre is so well populated that I could not help but wish there was something more. It’s a free game, so there is little to lose, and for bite-sized runner bragging rights amongst friends, it might just fit the bill.