Tag: Endless Runners »
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
When the entire world is overrun with flesh-eating corpses, fighting doesn’t seem like the best choice. If the odds are that stacked, it’s much better to run. That’s pretty much the entire premise behind Into the Dead; run, don’t look back, and only fight if it’s absolutely necessary. Dead might be an inevitability in this first-person endless runner, but thankfully so is fun.
After a helicopter crash in the middle of zed territory players are immediately put in control of a lone survivor as he wisely takes to his heels. There are far too many zombies about to take a stand, so instead they’ll be running for their lives. Luckily these are the slow, shambling zombies. A number of control options are available that let players tilt, tap, or drag in order to guide their survivor around obstacles and hopefully out of all those grasping hands. And once weapons are unlocked (and a crate is snatched during a run) tapping the screen is used to attack. Longer runs and the completion of various tasks (i.e. kill X number of zombies in one run, etc) earn coins, which can then be used to unlock new weapons early or to equip special one-time use modifiers such as starting with a weapon equipped.
First thing’s first: Into the Dead is a great-looking game. Even on my old 3GS. The environments are oppressive, the zombies are numerous, and everything is just gloomy enough to make the entire thing feel utterly hopeless. The presentation deserves a special mention as well thanks to little details such as major screen bobbing when jumping over fences or narrowly avoiding a zombie go a long way to creating an absorbing experience. The satisfaction of grabbing a weapon and blasting a few zombies out of the way, and even simply making it farther than the last time are reasons enough to play for hours on end. But then there are the missions and unlockable weapons that make it even harder to stop.
Playing on an older device does have its drawbacks, however. I certainly appreciate the effort in making Into the Dead accessible even on my old 3GS, but it does create some slight performance issues. The framerate dips aren’t enough to ruin the experience, but they do screw with the atmosphere a bit. I’m also curious to see how PikPok addresses future updates as I could see things becoming a bit repetitive over time. But who knows? Perhaps some new zombie types are in the works or something.
I wasn’t expecting Into the Dead to be an endless runner, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to have as much fun with it as I have, but it is and I did. I’d recommend it as an automatic buy regardless, but the fact that it’s free makes it a (I’m sorry but I have to) no-brainer.
Appropriately enough, there's a practically endless supply of Endless Runners to choose from across the App Store. Which ones are the best and most worthy of your attention, though? We took a look at our favorite 4 in recent times and explain just why they're worth diving into.
Solipskier has been quite a hit both commercially and amongst the developer crowd. It's not strictly an Endless 'Runner', instead focusing on skiing but it is fantastic fun. Players must draw the ski slopes while picking up speed and completing some impressive jumps and tricks. It also offers some innovative and memorable music thanks to a feature that means music 'pops out' when skiing fast, adding to the sense of speed as you solely hear the sound effects rather than soundtrack for a time.
Yes, it's nearly as huge as Angry Birds (and continues the bird theme well) but it'd be impossible to not mention Tiny Wings when rounding up the best Endless Runners. All about flying endlessly, players control a cute bird as they bounce across many hills. One tap is all that's needed to control momentum with numerous challenges encouraging players to improve for next time. The latest update included an extra mode for even more fun. It's a wonderfully calming yet gripping experience.
One Epic Knight
One of the more recent entries to the genre, One Epic Knight combines dungeon crawling with endless running, pitting a knight against a never ending dungeon as he attempts to collect up all the loot, clear the evil creatures and dodge some fearsome traps. Swipe controls ensure none of this feels too complicated and it's a great change of pace for a normally predictable genre.
Many games have included avalanche chases, Ski Safari focuses solely on this big problem with Sven the skier desperately trying to escape the cavalcade of snow while using animals to help his escape. Each animal offers a different ability to speed Sven up plus a selection of objectives add extra purpose to the game. It's adorable and addictive in equal measures.