Version Reviewed: 1.1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5s
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In spite of all the ancient tombs, galloping automatons, and beefed-up jetpacks that have sprinted across our touch-screens, Oliver Painnot’s Speed of Time is primed with an adrenaline rush that’s packed with a sense of speed that’s never been realized by anything else quite like it on the mobile market. Seconds after booting up app, it will instantly grab you with one of the most eye-catching art directions of its kind.
The simplistic aesthetic of Speed of Time’s colorfully vibrant geometric design and smooth animation quickly set the visual tone with an artistically driven ride that will flood the senses with a seamless blur of high-resolution beauty. What makes the fidelity of the graphics so impressive is how consistent it remains throughout the rapidly fluctuating momentum during gameplay; so much so that that the sensation of Saccadic masking sets the moment you clock past 90 MPH — it’s insane.
Extraordinary graphics aside, the gameplay dynamics and foundation of sharp physics that engineer the fundamentals of Speed of Time’s never-endingly pointless race is where the real meat is; featuring a deceptive level of depth that gets better and better with every layer you peel back.
Once accelerated, you’re given twenty seconds that span as much distance as you can manage across the spacey highway, trying your hardest not to fall off of the track or run out of time despite the challenge from the increasing velocity of your run. Navigating is a binary means of either steering left or right, or tapping both to slow down;, and knowing when to hit the brakes and when to floor is further compounded by unique surface of the road. Down the middle is an orange stripe that acts as a permanent speed-boost section of the course, rapidly elevating the rate of movement players are go at the longer they’re on it.
The humble hook that reels you in to this addictive runner is the risk/reward system that surrounds its speed. The trick to successfully charting as many miles as you can across the astro-runway is to extend the seconds on the clock by maneuvering through every obstacle ring encountered that you possibly can. The catch is that the majority of them hang in the air, and are only accessible through the precise mount off of a narrow ramp that can easily be missed - and sticking around in the air for too long drains the clock faster, so too much air time is a bad thing.
Overall, it isn’t just the polish over all of these familiar runner conventions that sells Speed of Time, it’s the frenetic impedance that’s reminiscent of hard-boiled contemporaries like Super Hexagon that makes it so engaging. For the mere price of ninety-nine cents, it goes to show that there’s plenty of drive left in the endless runner genre. It's packed with plenty of glue to stick your eyes to your screen, and keep the charger plugged into the wall for days to come.