In what is now the 8th entry in this extended rundown of the best mobile games of the year so far, I’ve looked to the runner genre and selected a great little 80s throwback called The VideoKid.
This one is perhaps best described as a smart play on the NES classic, Paperboy. And while its boxy characters and environments might not be overly reminiscent of the era, the stellar audio work and garish colours positively scream retro fun. It also helps that it’s jam-packed with a silly amount of goofy references, from Back to the Future to ThunderCats.
The tricky skateboarding gameplay sees you switching lanes to avoid incoming obstacles, snapping up coins, and occasionally delivering VHS tapes. Each area is packed with easily missed visual gags and interactive details, often to the point where it starts to feel like a candy-coloured fever dream.
Despite the risk of sensory overload, exploration is recommended and is almost always rewarded with something weird or wonderful. And it’s a very good thing indeed that The VideoKid stands up to repeat runs, as it’s no pushover. Failure can arrive suddenly and ferociously from almost anywhere, and it’s hard not to panic when faced with several oncoming cars or a sewer-dwelling crocodile.
Throw in a great selection of unlockable characters and outfits and you’ve got yourself an all-around good time, especially if you’re a fan on the era and don’t find Big Bird overly traumatising.