Invisible Runner Review
iPhone App
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Invisible Runner Review

Our Review by Chantelle Joy Duxbury on October 5th, 2010
Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: FUN BUT FRUSTRATING
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Invisible Runner offers a run & jump platform side-scroller with a twist: sometimes, you can't see yourself.

Developer: Devilish Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

You might be familiar with Invisible Runner as a Flash Game on Newgrounds, and you may have even enjoyed it as such. Sadly, while it has potential, I don't think that it's a perfect fit yet for the iPhone. However, since it offers really fun game play, interesting graphics and wonderful music, I'm going to give it a review anyway.

To start off, the concept of the game is simple. It's a platform-based run & jump game, only the main obstacle or challenge is that most of the time you're invisible. The character still reacts and behaves the same as in a typical platformer, you'll just have to use your best guess to decide how, when or where to move him. There are 25 levels you need to traverse, and the simple goal is to get from one side to the other; there's no story or other information otherwise to motivate you.

Of course, it's all much easier said than done. Amusingly enough, being invisible is actually not the most difficult part of this game, especially considering there are many 'checkpoints' of sorts through each level where you become visible for a short while, making it easy to get your bearings. The mechanics of this game are what make it difficult, which is a shame. There's nothing worse than unintuitive interfaces.

To move left and right, you use the left and right arrows on the bottom right and left of the screen, (which are difficult but not impossible to see). However, the problem comes from the jumping mechanism. You use the 'Up' arrows located directly above the left/right arrows. Oddly, there are two arrows, one on each side of the screen. If you're moving right and want to jump you'll need to hit the 'up' arrow on the left with your left thumb, but if you want to turn around you'll have to switch to the left arrow, and then to jump, move your right thumb to the up arrow. I wish I could say that it's not as tricky as it sounds, but it is. These controls are completely the opposite of how most video games work, with one stick or directional pad for horizontal movement, and one jump button. It turns an otherwise fun, interesting and delightful game into a exercise in frustration.

I will give credit to the designers, the design of the game is solid. I really enjoyed the 'sketchpad' style animation, and the music is really nice (reminds me very much of 'Braid'). If they fixed the character movement mechanic and maybe added in something like a storyline, this could be a wonderful app, perhaps even worth more than the current price point. As it stands, it's still worth a try for only a dollar. Perhaps if there is enough interest the developers will keep working on it.

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iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Invisible Runner screenshot 1 Invisible Runner screenshot 2 Invisible Runner screenshot 3 Invisible Runner screenshot 4 Invisible Runner screenshot 5
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