Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Rush City is the newest game from Acceleroto, the developer of Air Hockey and Occurro. This is an endless runner, where players control an alien on the run from the forces that pursue him. Probably because he’s an illegal alien? Insert rimshot here. Players tap on the screen to jump, holding down longer to jump higher, avoiding helicopters and the perilous gaps between buildings while collecting stars for extra points. There are lists of objectives to complete that increase the score multiplier when completed.
The game boasts a personal favorite feature: seeing beacons for friends' high scores while running, giving that smug sense of satisfaction when I beat frequent Portable Podcast guest Brett Nolan, or even Acceleroto's own Bryan Duke at his own game. The simplicity of Rush City is something of a nice throwback to simpler endless runners that were just all about the gameplay and the chase for the high scores. Also, it’s universal, and supports 60 frames per second and special graphical effects on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. It also has iCloud for syncing progress across devices, and has iCade support. It's hardly necessary, but still fun to play with.
Canabalt is probably the best comparison for Rush City, though it lacks some of the subtlety in gameplay that game had. For example, boxes in that game were more than just obstacles, they could be used to slow down the runner when he was going too fast. Here, they are just all obstacles, and hitting them usually means game over is soon because the next jump or two can’t be made because of the speed down it provides. The objectives are a double-edged sword; some of them wind up being distracting to getting high scores. Jetpack Joyride did them well just because while some objectives required unorthodox things to be done, they could still be done as part of the process of playing the game itself.
Rush City isn’t the most complex game, but it’s also just a starting point; the developer has mentioned more content coming to the game in the future, so keep on collecting those stars as they may be useful at some point in the future. The game is playable on the web, so those curious can try before they buy.