Front Runner Review

By , on December 1, 2010

Front Runner
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • Cute hand drawn visuals.
  • Fun, tongue-in-cheek storyline.
  • Lots of upgrades to play with.


  • No specific level selection for replays.
  • Relatively bland post-game highscore grinding.


Front Runner isn't always smooth sailing, however should you manage to master the game's quirky controls and weapons you'll be rewarded with a fun heart warming story.

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From Wario-ware inspired micro-games to addictive Tamagotchi-esque creature simulators, Tactile Entertainment definitely has a pedigree of attempting unique and involving titles. Their latest game 'Front Runner' is no exception and where flashy bullet-hell bonanzas are the norm, this title goes for something a little more off the beaten track.


Players take control of the Front Runner in an attempt to dispense a bit of payback against annoying space 'villains' that seem more intent on being bullies than truly evil. Initially your ship is incredibly weak, slow and underpowered, maneuvering like a tank on ice and shooting pathetically weak blips of energy at your enemies. However, as you collect notes from fallen enemies you'll be able to purchase upgrades that quickly turn you in to a speedy collection of insane weaponry, destroying all who would stop you on your quest. Firing and maneuvering is as simple as swiping the screen, though a modicum of inertia prevents this from being entirely accurate even once your speed is maxed out.


This can be frustrating to deal with, especially when bosses can kill you completely by simply touching you, but notes earned carry over when a level is replayed, allowing you to beef up and continue once you've reached an appropriate level. Artistically Front Runner is very unique, with beautifully designed and digitally painted characters, though busier levels can be confusing and instead of elegantly dodging incoming weapons you'll need to get used to acting like a blunt object; absorbing hits you can't avoid and blasting away enemies as quickly as possible.


Once you've completed the main campaign, players can take their beefed up vehicle for a spin in the Survival mode; earning more notes to continue upgrading and potentially maxing it out. This gives the game some shelf-life beyond the main campaign, but even if you jump in for the fun storyline Front Runner is definitely worth checking out.


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