Posts Tagged ‘runner game’

Mobile Game Review: Galaxy Run

1_TitleProduced by: Spiel Studios
Available on: iOS
Cost: $.99
Reviewed on: iPad
Genre: Action/Puzzle Runner
Released: Dec. 4, 2013

Mechanically, Galaxy Run is a simple enough game. The majority of the strategy comes from tapping the screen at the right time. But the folks at Spiel Studios have done a great job of taking that simple control scheme and pushing it to some impressive lengths.

Players control Rez, a space explorer who has crash-landed and is trying to run, jump, and dodge his way home. One tap will send Rez running, and a tap after he’s moving will make him jump. Things get more complex with the introduction of different items and power-ups. Early on players will encounter relatively simple items like moving platforms and double jumps. More advanced elements include speed boosters and gravity inverters. By the last level players are bouncing off trampolines, swinging from grappling hooks, and flying with jetpacks – all done with a simple one-touch control scheme.

2_StoryI was surprisingly impressed by some of the later levels, especially considering the fact that I was admittedly a bit underwhelmed with the first few stages. I should have recognized, though, that the early stages were simple for a reason – to teach new players the basic mechanics of the game. I underestimated how much Spiel would be able to mix up the simple control scheme and keep the gameplay fresh.

Still, while they certainly proved able to push the bounds of the gameplay, those limitations do still exist and they definitely make their presence felt over time. The game feels like it wants to be in league with Angry Birds in terms of simple-control iOS games, but unlike Angry Birds it seems like Galaxy Run levels tend to have one set correct sequence to win (though there are some exceptions). As a result, the strategy is less about devising a plan so much as perfecting your timing. This is fine in its own right, and I did still enjoy my playthrough, but it hurts the replay value significantly. The only real incentive to play the level again is to get more stars, but since the number of stars earned is based on the number of failed attempts it means that if you want those stars you pretty much have to quit the level and load it again every time you fail. Not exactly a huge incentive-booster.

02_Gameplay_Speedboard_ScreenshotGameplay: 6.5/10
The premise and execution on Galaxy Run are both simple enough to allow any skill level to enjoy the game. But while Spiel says the game is simple to learn but difficult to master, others may consider mastering it to be rather simple too. The main difficulty can come less from figuring out the answer to the puzzle and more from seemingly miniscule differences in timing that will determine success or failure.

Graphics: 6/10
Galaxy Run has relatively simple graphics that definitely do NOT push the limitations of the iPad. Still, the graphics are clear and easy to identify, and they are hardly BAD looking. Like the gameplay itself, the graphics are more utilitarian than impressive.

Sound: 5.5/10
The sound effects in Galaxy Run are your typical gaming fare. I did dock a point though for the game’s main theme song. I only took one year of music theory for fun, but I don’t have to know art to know what I like. And there’s just something about those opening chords every time I load the app that makes me grit my teeth a bit more each time.

09_Gameplay_Die_ScreenshotOverall: 7/10
Galaxy Run is an interesting specimen of a game. You may notice that each individual element has scored lower than the overall total. How can this be you ask? It’s because the game is a perfect example of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts. The graphics aren’t stellar, but they do their job well enough to support the gameplay. In turn, the gameplay isn’t groundbreaking, but it manages to surprise despite its limitations. In the end, the game knows what it is setting out to accomplish, and it accomplishes it well.

Review code provided by Spiel Studios’ PR Company.

You can view the official game trailer below.  Enjoy!

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