Canabalt HD Review

Canabalt HD Review

Mar 21, 2012

It’s been a long time coming, but one of the prominent examples of the endless runner genre, Canabalt, is now on Android as Canabalt HD. Ported to Android by Kittehface Software from the original source code by Semi Secret, this is the same core gameplay. Run along rooftops, billboards, and through billboards, trying not to miss a jump, and trying to anticipate the sudden alien objects that come down from the sky. The Android version boasts one new feature: re-designed three-dimensional graphics. They’re totally optional, as it’s easy to switch back to the traditional graphics.

The game is still as sublime to play as it ever was. The visual style is still unique in its limited color pallette, and the soudntrack from Danny Baranowsky is still headphones-worthy. All the little clever strategies for longer runs, like discovering the boxes that slow the player down are actually a good thing at time for keeping the pace manageable, are all in place. The gameplay is absolutely attuned in a way that makes it great.

There is one very strange thing with Canabalt HD compared to the iOS version. Like clockwork, a window section appears within the first 500 meters. Practically, if not literally, every time. It is definitely more often than in the iOS version. I know because I kept testing to try and figure out why my iOS scores were so much higher. Are there other potential environment generation tweaks? It would be hard to figure out, and the window sections may or may not be an intentional tweak, but there is definitely something different at launch.

As well, the high score account system in use appears to be the same as in the iOS version, as my typical username was taken. However, there’s no way to recover accounts at the moment. The leaderboards are cross-platform though: I can see my high score that I made on the iPad version while testing out the different versions, but I can’t log in to that account. It may just be an error at the moment, but it is somewhat annoying.

Still, these are minor complaints in an otherwise-fantastic product. Fans of endless runners need to play this one if they haven’t arleady. It’s part of the Humble Bundle for Android 2 as well, for a limited time.