When it comes to iOS and Android gaming, often less is more. As playing games on the touch screen can be a bit limiting, the games which have simplified controls tend to play better. As such, Canabalt, which has reduced the major part of the gameplay to just a press of the screen, is a perfect fit.
Now some may think that just having that one mechanic would make for a rather boring game. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are looking for a great time waster on your iOS or Android device, this game is worth heavy consideration.
My review is based on the Android version. There appear to be some major differences between it and the iOS version, but as I do not have an iOS device, I cannot confirm that.
Make Your Escape
The premise of Canabalt is rather simple: the world around you is falling apart, and you are trying to make a desperate escape. So you start running. Your character runs on his own; it is up to you to press the screen when you need him to jump, whether to avoid obstacles, leap from one building to another area or time it just right to crash through a window into a nearby office. The object is to get as far as you can without falling or being obliterated.
Seems like this should be pretty simple, right? Well, not as much as you may think. Canabalt does a fantastic job of varying the challenges thrown at you as you make your escape. You gain speed as you run, and this makes some of the jumps much more difficult to time. There are desks and boxes that will be in your way, and you can allow your character the collide with them to slow you down, but if you slow down too much, you might not make the next jump. Certain buildings will crumble the minute you land on them, forcing you to time your next jump carefully. Objects will fall in front of you, and if you do not react quickly enough, you will die.
What really sets Canabalt apart is the attention to the graphics and sound. The game looks stunning in back and white with the combination of 2D and 3D graphics on Android. The music and other sound effects really help draw you into the game, so much so that it recommends playing through headphones to get the maximum effect. Add online leaderboards to the mix, and you have an easy but addicting game.
Canabalt sells for $2.99 on both iTunes and Google Play. While that price may seem a bit much for it, but I can say you will get your money’s worth. I would also recommend keeping your eye on the Humble Bundles, as the game has been included in a couple of the Android bundles. Canabalt gets an 9 out of 10.
To truly understand just how much fun Canabalt is, you need to see it in action. Check out this video to see if it may be for you.