dannyodwyer's Canabalt (iPhone) review

Sprint, Jump, Die, Tweet, Repeat.

It seems Twitter has penetrated every aspect of daily life. If your plugged into the twitterverse you've probably heard of people running 1200 metres before crashing into a wall and tumbling to their death. This is the final part of every attempt at Canabalt; a run-em-up game of cartoon, urban hurdles which rewards patience and persistence with an auto-tweet button to show your friends how much free time you clearly have.

Canabalt is a single-level game where you control the jumping of a man sprinting from left-right. Your character is running for his life across rooftops, over sky-cranes  and through windows as the city is torn down from beneath his feet by nameless invaders. You spend each level making Morpheus-like leaps between skyscrapers, jumping over crashed missiles and bounding over smaller obstacles. These come in the form of boxes and office chairs, which don't kill you, but slow your momentum making the larger jumps more difficult, and often impossible.


Each attempt creates a new level which begins with a dramatic sprinting-crash through a skyscraper window, and ends in the death of your character with a score in the form of meters ran.  As each game lasts little more than half a minute, so it's a good thing the game has some pretty neat visuals and music. Canabalt loads with a helpful note to wear headphones  "for maximum awesome" and it's pretty accurate. The minimalist graphics look great in motion with smooth animations and some very smart backgrounds that give the game visual depth. All of comes together to create a genuine atmosphere of trepidation and tension.

Canabalt was made in 5 days at Kyles Experimental Gameplay Project, and is free to play online here. It's the sort of game the iPhone was really made for; short, cheap and infinitely replayable. £1.69 really is a fair price considering how much you'll go back to play it. Let's hope the platform allows for more of this experimental nonsense.

Danny O'Dwyer

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Other reviews for Canabalt (iPhone)

    I'm not entirely sure why this version exists 0

    There are very few games that ilicit a reaction of “Huh, you paid for that?” more than Canabalt. Not that it’s bad, it’s just that there’s a free Flash version on the developer’s website. But that free Flash version is the very reason I paid for Canabalt on the iTunes Store. I’m sad to say that the paid version offers nothing more than the free one. Canabalt is the typical old school Flash game that I used to play during IT and Computing classes, instead of actually working. The basic ji...

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