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Comic Boy review - A comic-inspired auto-runner


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

Worth a flick through?

Product: Comic Boy | Publisher: FredBear Games Ltd | Format: iPhone | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: ,
 
Hopping between comic book panels feels like an ingenious premise for a video game, but it's hardly new.

Comix Zone did it to great effect in a 1995 Mega Drive beat-'em-up, while more recently Framed (as well as its sequel) and Gorogoa applied the trick to the mobile puzzler genre.

Comic Boy's application of this idea to the well-worn autorunner doesn't feel as fresh as those games, but nor is it as well executed.

Let's not draw this out

Comic Boy is a classic autorunning platformer, whereby our young protagonist scoots between comic book panels from top left to bottom right.

When he hits the end of the row of panels, Comic Boy turns and runs back the other way. It's on you to jump him over or duck him under hazards, and to locate the point at which he can drop through to the next level.



That might involve a swipe-induced ground pound, a slide or a double jump. You might need to dash to outrun a boulder or locate an item to open up a way forward.

All the while you're hoovering up the collectible item that will determine your star rating at the end of each level.

Sketchy

The main twist with Comic Boy is its comic book presentation, but it hasn't really been executed with particular panache.

It kind of looks like Calvin and Hobbs by way of Super Fancy Pants Adventure, but without the wit and humour of the former or the invention and fluidity of the latter.

Each of the levels is a fairly bland, blocky, uniform affair that feels like it could have been put together in another game's level editor.



Despite the comic book approach, there's no cohesive story or theme to the game that might give you any drive.

Meanwhile, a single infuriating skater-rock song plays on repeat in the background. Overlaying this song, our character bizarrely repeats the name of the level at random.

Comic Boy plays just fine, but too little attention has been paid to things like interesting level design, or to selling the whole comic book premise. It all just feels a little bit slap-dash.
 
Comic Boy review - A comic-inspired auto-runner
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 4 May 2018
Comic Boy wastes an interesting premise with uninspired auto-runner gameplay and a lack of polish
 
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