Saturday, 16 January 2010
iPhone games struggle with mapping the multiple inputs usually associated with modern video games. In poorer examples players usually end up with confusing drag-tap gymnastics, or, even worse, a controller map stamped on the screen. Not so in Adam Saltsman and Eric Johnson's Canabalt. Tasked with making your daring escape from a fracturing city-scape, players assist a speeding pixel man with well timed one tap leap jabs. Your escapee will always be running full pelt, you simply have to judge the correct time for him to jump. Stress comes in the form of an ever-changing course: buildings crack and tumble out beneath you, alien machinery crashes in your immediate path, and building tops repeatedly fail to sync up. Canabalt seems designed to be played as a rolling series of attempts. Failures are not penalised with anything other than an instant restart, and the anxious invasion funk continues uninterrupted over any number of defeats. Repetition is also nixed thanks to random course generation, you never know what's coming next.
Play Canabalt for free here.