Side-scrolling survival fun in Rogue Runner iPhone game

Nov 9, 2010
Games

Survival running games are not exactly new to the iPhone. Even a quick search turns up countless versions on the same premise – run until you die. Rogue Runner attempts to beat the genre fatigue by overloading the game with options and enemies, and largely succeeds. While many survival runners focus solely on enemy avoidance, […]

Survival running games are not exactly new to the iPhone. Even a quick search turns up countless versions on the same premise – run until you die. Rogue Runner attempts to beat the genre fatigue by overloading the game with options and enemies, and largely succeeds.

While many survival runners focus solely on enemy avoidance, Rogue Runner encourages players to take the enemy head-on by providing several contra-esque power-ups for players to use. The level is littered with armor to prevent easy deaths and a spread of ammo to help shoot enemies.

Those additions might sound obvious or simple, but they lend an extra dose of strategy to the game. Now players aren’t just making a choice about when to jump, they’re weighing the risk of falling into a pit by making a last-ditch jump for a power-up.

Rogue Runner also boasts a wide variety of pits for players to fall into. The app has multiple backgrounds packed with unique enemies specific to that background. There’s an LA level, where you’re chased by G-Men; a Roswell level, where you contend with aliens; and a graveyard level, where ghosts are your main problem. The enemies behave similarly, but the different skins are appreciated in a game that is otherwise fairly one-note.

While the app uses OpenFeint for achievements and its scoreboard, there is also a strong in-game incentive to keep playing, thanks to several unlockables. Players can unlock extra vehicles and an entire new mode of play by collecting the cash strewn about the game.

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Graphically, Rogue Runner has a cheeky 8-bit visual style that will either appeal or irritate, depending on your nostalgia level for that sort of thing. I personally think it fits the simple nature of the game, but it’d be interesting to see what one of these games looked like with a great visual engine.

While it’s difficult to say that Rogue Runner stands head and shoulders above its peers, there’s no mistaking this is a very fun and difficult survival running game. If you haven’t tried the genre or are looking for one of the better entries in it, Rogue Runner fits the bill admirably. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it sure knows how to use it.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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