Review: Canabalt

Canabalt2Game: Canabalt
Format: iPod touch/iPhone
Developer: Adam Atomic
Publisher: Semi Secret Software

Run. Jump. Couldn’t be simpler… or more addictive, as it turns out.

Canabalt is another game which began life as a free-flash game, and made a very fast conversion when it set the net on fire with its amazingly addictive nature. The App version takes all of the features of the web based game, and somehow manages to make it even better.

The concept of the game is simple. Your character runs across the screen and the goal is to leap from building to building, trying not to die. Jumping is controlled by tapping anywhere on the screen. The game procedurally generates every level, so you will never be able to learn the course; this is a test of reaction time and coordination. The game also throws falling buildings and debris into the mix, meaning you always have to stay on your toes.

What makes Canabalt so fantastic is the way it executes its addictive gameplay. The art style uses a basic greyscale, which may seem quite dull. However, the way the animation brings the art to life is truly a wonder. Although it will take a few turns to start noticing the surroundings, once you do, you quickly realise what a beautiful game it is.

Run run run run run!

Run run run run run!

There’s an interesting subtlety to Canabalt. There’s not a lot of story to it short of “run”, but the background in the game gives hints to something massive occurring. It’s never really explained why your character is running, but it probably has something to do with the giant creatures destroying the city behind you…

There is one point that needs to be mentioned; the music. Although the game only features 2 tracks, both are fantastic and fit the game like a glove. The game would not be half as good without Danny Baranowsky’s incredibly cinematic tunes.

Review Round-Up

Gameplay: 5/5 Addictive gaming and simple control scheme make this a perfectly executed game.

Graphics: 4/5 May not blow your mind graphically, but a wonderful art style that doesn’t get tired.

Longevity: 5/5 For £1.19; it guarantees hours of entertainment.

Sound: 5/5 If anyone ever meets Danny B, buy him a drink for me. I promise to reimburse you fully.

Overall: 5 death-defying leaps out of 5. A fantastically designed game, Canabalt is a perfect example of an iPod game; simple, enjoyable and addictive. A must-buy.

[starreview tpl=16]

Thu, February 25 2010 » Mobile, Reviews

3 Responses

  1. kamiza February 25 2010 @ 6:38 am

    I played the free web version of this and thought it was amazingly addictive. When I get my ipod touch, I will definitely pick it up.

  2. Crofterz February 25 2010 @ 10:40 am

    Agreed this game is like crack, so addictive. I always keep going back and trying to beat my highest score (which is crap since I have the reflexes of a brainless zombie).

  3. Joefeesh February 25 2010 @ 12:35 pm

    Yup, yup, very addictive and the music is awesome.

    I love the bird animations. So simple, but very pretty.

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