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IX-Runner Review

By , on March 15, 2012


IX-Runner
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Constant additions like wall jumping stone and springboard enemies.
  • A wide variety of characters to choose from, each with unique abilities.
  • Levels have multiple pathways.

CONS

  • The levels feel very start and stop instead of flowing along.
  • Some will dislike the premium character bait and switch.

VERDICT

A competent enough running platformer with plenty of pathways and characters to choose from, and runs to perfect. The controls and breaking nature of the gameplay might put off players however.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

The runner is an interesting sub-genre of the platformer, and what makes it unique is often its simplicity. Running and jumping along an endless road avoiding obstacles and enemies, aching for that high score. You could make the argument that it's stripping the platformer down to its purest elements. Then you have the runners that aren't endless, that add a little more complexity but try and keep the same pure style of gameplay. IX-Runner is one of these. Let's see if it can have its cake and eat it too.

After the tutorial you find yourself at a map screen and choosing a character before you start running in level one. There are six characters to choose from, and each has a unique ability, from double-jumping to walking on air. The final three characters are premium characters that can only be played once a day unless you spend the ridiculous gold price to unlock them for normal play. While their abilities are pretty neat, you'll probably find the fee not worth the price and treat them more as a novelty to pull out every now and then.

So each level breaks the endless runner formula into small segments, where you must reach the goal in the quickest time possible, while collecting the most coins. The coins can be used for shoe upgrades and one-time-only power boosts. Truth be told, the amount of coins received in each level is quite generous when it comes to the shop so like the time limit, coin collection is more a goal linked to a feeling of personal satisfaction. Each level has hidden stars that add to your overall score as well.

These levels have many paths, both high and low, and each new stage incorporates new ideas such as the wall-jump stone slabs. Replaying a level should have you finding new avenues to find coins and rush around with your boost power. Yeah, aside from the jumping, you have a boost button that fills when you collect coins, avoid obstacles, stomp enemies etc. Boosting allows you to smash through most obstacles and definitely cuts down on your level time.

All in all this sounds like a great runner title right? Well we've saved the most disappointing aspect for last. Whether it's the controls not responding or just the placement of obstacles, there's a distinct lack of flow to the running. You'll be shooting along just starting to get into the rhythm of a level when something will bring you to a halt. Now usually this is due to lack of skill, and is a motivator to improve, but here it just feels like a random occurrence that sucks your enjoyment away. Be wary of this if you're looking for a new runner and this review has piqued your interest.

Screenshots

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