Aug 9, 2013
Yes, Rail Rush may induce a double take. In a good way, that is.
A decrepit, seemingly endless mine shaft is the scene of this caper; the playing environment is mostly made up of the the running area that this type of running game is known for, but the running path appears as a three-lane rail track that is treacherous in its condition, and the runner is maneuvering a runaway mine cart along the railway.
Plenty of obstacles are present, which most of the swipe controls help avoid. Swiping up and down invokes jumping and sucking respectively, while swiping left or right jumps the cart in either direction. This is useful for jumping off of a busted track to a (temporarily) safer one, or for avoiding objects on the tracks. Additionally, there are left and right tilt movements, which are not only effective for avoiding obstacles, but key in collecting gold nuggets, gems and other specials that line the sides of the rails.
The incorporated tutorial walks you through the gameplay, and then, boom, it’s on. It’s kind enough to start out relatively slow, which is great with regards to getting acquainted with how everything works. As progress is made, and further distance is traveled, the pace picks up; the traps get a bit sneakier and rapider. Focusing on the nuggets can be a danger in and of itself, as they are usually sandwiched by pitfalls.
One element that is hard to dislike are the tasks; these are a list of three activities to complete. They are mostly cumulative, and provide, in essence, mini-games that are fun to accomplish.
The gold pieces serve as in-game cash, allowing for the upgrade of characters and attributes. there are specials that can be purchased, and real cash can speed the process up, but I was able to continually go through without doling out real cash.
The artwork is bright without being garish, with several different scenes. The animations are smooth as well
Running games are far from sparse, but Rail Rush seems to be one that can hold its own. At the very least, it’ll make one respect Donkey Kong that much more.