Developer: Not Doppler
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Strike Force Heroes: Extraction begins like any other endless runner. Players must tap the left side of the screen to jump and tap the right to shoot. But by mission three, the developers do something both incredibly simple and entirely game-changing: they introduce a cover system.

20131122-002608.jpgPractically unseen in endless runners is the ability to stop, rest, and plan the next move. It’s such a simple tactic, but it makes a world of difference to how I approached this game. This wasn’t just a case of running until I faltered; I actually felt like I had control over how things panned out, and it’s a welcome change.

SFH:E consists of 30 missions (with more to come), each involving a star rating system based on level completion, speed, and the successful collection of secret intel. There are also a few set pieces on hand — from firefights to helicopter chases — that each add an extra bit of excitement, urgency, and variety to gameplay. This is a game that will constantly keep players on their toes.

There are various unlockables available – from an arsenal of weaponry to a small army of playable characters, each with their own perks and flaws. With a weapon-less Free Run mode and a death-defying Survival mode to contend with, SFH:E provides players with plenty of content to keep them busy.

20131122-002517.jpgOne thing I did find frustrating, however, is just how easy it is to hit a ledge incorrectly after a mistimed jump. It’s pretty ruthless, particularly as quicker characters ensure that players have less time to react. It could be worse though, since the game compensates by only putting players back a few meters until their life bar eventually reaches zero.

All in all, Strike Force Heroes: Extraction is a refreshing take on a long-standing genre, with enough innovations (particularly the cover system) to make it a worthy purchase for fans of endless runners.

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