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iPhone  header logo

Gravity Runner

For: iPhone

Hit the roof

Product: Gravity Runner | Developer: We Are Colin | Publisher: We Are Colin | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Gravity Runner iPhone, thumbnail 1
"Don’t mess with the classics" is a popular saying that often goes unheeded. Just look at the host of abominable cover versions that continue to assault our charts (not to mention our ears).

While Canabalt can’t quite be labelled an iPhone classic, it has certainly inspired a lot of me-too variations. Gravity Runner is the latest example, but it takes the risky step of messing with the formula.

Be running up that hill

Your little pixel-art athlete runs from left to right, accelerating through levels clearly inspired by classic platformers. By tapping the screen at appropriate moments, you can hurdle many of the obstacles that come your way.

So far so Canabalt, but it’s the rest of the obstacles – the ones you can’t circumvent through regular means – that show where Gravity Runner toys with the rules.

By double-tapping you switch gravity on its head, so up becomes down and down becomes up. This enables you to avoid extended spike traps or reach time-boosting coins by running on the ceiling.

With some problems

It’s a fun mechanic once it gets into its swing. The more complex levels resemble a puzzle game more than a high speed platformer, as you try and think of the correct pattern of gravity switches to see you through to the finishing line.

Good thing Gravity Runner introduces this mechanic because as a straightforward runner it leaves much to be desired. It’s slow, slightly clunky (you can get snagged on level scenery a little too easily) and it doesn’t run particularly smoothly on my second-generation iPod touch.

Yet, this deliberate pace becomes far easier to accept the longer you play the game. While the superficial similarities to Canabalt are unmistakable, Gravity Runner is very much its own game with its own mind-bending agenda.
 
Gravity Runner
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 17 August 2010
Initial perceptions of a rather clumsy Canabalt clone are wide of the mark, as Gravity Runner gradually blossoms into an addictive platform-puzzler
 
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