Developer: Glowdot Productions
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Casual mobile gaming and endless runners are a match made in heaven, but the bar has been set pretty high by Canabalt, the app that all endless runners aspire to. Canabalt blends nice graphics, smooth jumping animation, and heart pounding speed in a way that hasn’t been matched yet in the genre (Mirror’s Edge might be prettier, but it’s not an endless runner).

Rogue Runner takes a less serious approach to the endless runner genre by going slightly retro. In the game, you are Agent #022201-22C, and you are armed with either a tank or a jeep, both of which are retrofitted with a rocket powered jump boost, a ground gun, and a surface to air missile launcher. The goal of the game, like most endless runners, is to get as far as you can without falling in a hole or getting killed by the enemy.

While the retro graphics and overall feel seem to work, the game mechanics leave a lot to be desired. For one, the slow shooting weapon system is rather weak and the fact that your vehicle (even the tank) can only take one hit is pretty disappointing. Also, once helicopters start shooting at you there are some situations that the bullets are coming in such a way that you can’t prevent death. Another problem was the crazy amount of times that I would jump and land on enemy bullets. If it were only a couple of times I would just lend it to bad luck, but it was often enough to be quite annoying.

Endless running games live and die on your perceived ability to control the game. When I die, I should be able to say, “I wish I had jumped sooner,” not, “oh well, there’s nothing I could’ve done.” Rogue Runner isn’t a bad game because of its flaws, it just needs some kinks worked out and a layer of polish added to make it work well. The developer seems intent on making consistent updates, so keep an eye on Rogue Runner. Once it’s polished up a bit it could be a contender.

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