Developer: Black Pants Studio
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s nice to see some originality left in the auto-runner genre. This time around, in the case of Symmetrain, it’s by combining an auto-runner with a spot the difference game. Throw in some very charming visuals and there’s a recipe for fun, even if it is a bit of a slow burner.

The game consists of a train that gradually travels up the screen following a straight line of track. The only way in which the player can interact with the train is by pulling the emergency brake, located at the top of the screen, which slows the carriages down. Otherwise interaction is in the form of spotting the differences between either side of the track. Yup, that’s where the name makes perfect sense.

symmetrain4symmetrain5On either side of the track are various items; such as trees, ponds, fields, and water towers. Both sides don’t often match – meaning the player must tap on where an item should go for it to re-appear. It sounds very simple and early on it is. Once things speed up a little, however, it’s surprisingly easy to become flustered. Not that, admittedly, Symmetrain ever feels hugely complicated.

Instead, Symmetrain is the kind of game that’s simple enough to jump into for a few minutes every now and then. There are new trains to unlock by reaching certain cumulative scores that affect the speed and landscape, but that’s about it. Unlike other auto-runners, there are no coins to collect for upgrades or anything muddled like that. Symmetrain is quite the purist experience.

An extra level of challenge early on would have been nice here, but it’s still tough not to be charmed by Symmetrain. It’s taken a predictable idea and made it quite original, which is something to be applauded and enjoyed. At least for a little while.

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