The auto-run genre of plat-formers is very popular on the AppStore. At least, the developers think it is…
I call it the auto run genre because I don’t what else to call it. But, if you’ve played Canabalt or Monster Dash then you’ll know what I’m talking about. Basically these game feature your hero character running at a constant speed through each level, with you controlling their jumping to avoid oncoming obstacles. The general object of these games then is to survive as long as possible.
With each new entry in the genre, the developers attempt to create something different to the last, to make it standout. Some of these fail and others succeed. Grim Joggers adds enough to make it standout from the crowd, but it is a little lacking in content.
Unlike Canabalt for example, which features only one character to control, Grim Joggers has 10. You don’t control them independently however, instead by causing the lead jogger to jump, the others behind him/her will follow suit. What you get then is Canabalt meets Lemmings, as you furiously attempt to keep as many Joggers in play as possible and for as long as possible. The challenge comes not only with the multitude of obstacles designed to maim and kill your troop, but also the multi-level platforms. The main cause of death seems to be from one, or a selection of your Joggers, failing to reach a level due to your poor timing, resulting in them running on a parallel platform filled with hazards. Lose all but one of your guys and you’ll be notified by a large “sole survivor” message, designed to pile on the pressure.
The levels get quicker and quicker, and the obstacles come thick and fast. The further you progress the more achievements you unlock. Some are just for show, but one – the explored achievement – will grant you access to the next levels. Each level is themed, like a jungle and snow look and feel, complete with various fauna and flora designed to kill your little runners. Added extras, such as statistics, are fun too, where you can keep count of all the deaths so far, as well as how they died… like being eaten by a plant for example.
I’m not sure we really need any more of these style games to add to our collection, but overall Grim Joggers is a fun pick-up-and-play title for your iPhone and iPad. It has a cool 16-bit look and feel to it that reminds me of the game Flashback, and the various deaths are funny to behold. Because of the basic graphical design I would have liked to see more levels than the initial three (more levels are promised). And there is a small problem when it’s running at full speed, in that it begins to hurt your eyes. It’s a small gripe, but one that stops you playing for long periods.
Grim Joggers is out now as a universal App for iPhone and iPad for $0.99. Get it now on the