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iTraceur - Parkour / Freerunning Platform Game Review

By , on June 5, 2010


iTraceur - Parkour / Freerunning Platform Game
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Superb character movement animations.
  • Unique attempt at a natural control system.
  • In-game tutorial/training ground.
  • Customizable controls.

CONS

  • Graphical style makes it hard to go with the flow.
  • Free-exploration holds a fairly niche appeal.

VERDICT

Recent updates to iTraceur haven't transformed this title in to something magnificent, but it's certainly not the ugly duckling it used to be and Parkour fans will at least find some appeal to the game's free exploration.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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UPDATE: A lot of our major cons have fixed due to recent patches and the original score was no longer appropriate. An in-game tutorial level provides players with a good training ground for learning the controls, while new options even allow players to reposition buttons to their liking. I still feel that the graphics and niche appeal are holding the game back, but fans of Parkour can definitely jump in to this title with confidence.

Parkour, freerunning, the art of movement - it may have many identities, but at its core the physical discipline of elegant and efficient movement has gained immense popularity in the last decade and its influence has already affected many recent video games. iTraceur by Parkour Games attempts to bring the freerunning experience to the iPhone as naturally as possible, but something seems to have been lost in the translation.

A set of three controls on each side of the screen provide you with basic movement forward and backward, while the up and down controls will modify your movement based on the situation. Vaults and rolls are performed automatically where required, however stringing together movement fluidly is notoriously difficult. Objects can respond differently depending on when you tap certain combinations, making it extremely challenging to maintain a flow of movement.

The games graphics are mixed in an odd way, with smoothly video-captured movement for the traceur (male parkour practitioner) and ultra-simplistic artwork for the world. Depth is extremely difficult to judge, making multiple tiers of a building hard to pinpoint and ledges can often be hard to define.

A lot of time is wasted on merely jumping up platforms for no real significant reason and unless you take the time to memorize levels you'll find it hard to truly develop a graceful run. While iTraceur may be considered more "pure" than adapted inclusions of parkour in other games, it's just not as fun to play.

Screenshots

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