Developer: GUTPELA
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0.7
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The scenario:

You’re late for work. Your boss is calling you every 5 minutes as you power-walk down a bustling street in the blazing heat. Worse yet, you’ve forgotten the bottom half of your outfit. We’ve all been there.

20130529-133952.jpgThat’s the premise for Sidewalker – Late to Work. Players have to dodge in and out of oncoming pedestrians whilst collecting floating dollar bills, but when the boss begins to call, the hunt for a phone is on. Collect one in time and he is reassured, fail to find one and it’s game over.

The controls are a breeze to get used to and very responsive. Swipe left or right to walk in that direction, swipe downwards to slow the pace or swipe forwards to speed up. Players can also tap the ‘hyper-tie’ if there is one available. This will activate a rainbow-coloured aura which will enable them to bulldoze through anyone who is foolish enough to get in their way. It’s addictive, just as any endless runner should be.

The Minecraft-inspired graphics are bright and colourful, which really compliments the outlandish gameplay (chasing after a floating pair of trousers? Check). Unfortunately, the draw distance is very disappointing. Players who decide to get their power-walk on will be punished for their bravado with pedestrians appearing our of thin air in front of them. Even at a slower pace players can still walk into a sticky situation that literally comes out of nowhere.

20130529-134527.jpgThis is a real shame as it makes for frustrating and difficult gameplay. When combined with the bizarre idea to implement a waiting time for energy restoration, a lot of players will find it annoying that they cannot dive straight back into the action. However, there is an option to upgrade to the full version via in-app purchase for 99 cents, which will remove the ads and grant the user with unlimited lives. For those who don’t wish to upgrade, the energy system might cause to them revert back to other endless runners that offer a smoother experience for no cost at all.

What makes Sidewalker stand out from those countless other endless runners that populate the App Store though, is the ability to alter the pace of the gameplay. If the street is too overrun with people, or the player fancies a little game of Frogger with the oncoming traffic, they can slow down their fancy pants hero and look both ways. It’s a nice change from the norm, which might be enough for some people to take a walk on the wild side and download it.

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