Occasionally here at Player2.net.au, we will play something that deserves your attention but probably doesn’t need a full review written for it. Be it DLC for the latest AAA title, a little indie game or even an Android/iOS title. We play these titles for a blockbusting amount of time (2 – 5 hours) and report back to you the reader on what we found. So grab your popcorn and settle in for the latest episode of Blockbuster Gaming.
Blockbuster Gaming – ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun
Endless Runners have had an important place in the history of gaming, beginning with the likes of Night Driver and Scramble in the 1970s and 80s, to bonus levels in the likes of Sonic that filled the space. Modern-day takes on the genre have largely been mobile titles, with the style of game being excellently suited to the portable platform. While the likes of Subway Surfers, Temple Run, and Super Mario Run have popularised the genre with the masses, the more hardcore audiences never seemed to latch on. In the last couple of years developers have put in a greater effort to bring new players to the dark side – the latest of these projects is ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun, a game that’s been locked to iOS, Android and PC for 18 months but now stretches its wings by blasting its way to the Nintendo Switch – but does it stick the landing?
Few games have had a more apt title than RunGunJumpGun, for the actions in that title are the only actions available to you throughout the entire playing experience. You play a death-defying character who can perform only two simple functions, jumping, and gunning; in order to do the former, you must perform the later, firing at the ground to keep afloat. Complicating matters somewhat is the need to eliminate a whole host of differing obstacles, largely in the form of buzz-saw blades that are ready and waiting for even the slightest mistake.
A RunGunJumpGun level is a fast and frantic one, whilst combining running, jumping and gunning you’ll also be looking to collect one of the *approximately a* dozen orbs that not only guide you on your path to success but also unlock additional levels towards the back end of the game. Getting from point A to B can be a traumatic experience, but a combination of short levels and near-immediately respawns mean that even in failure, you rarely feel punished too harshly. Few levels will require multiple dozens of attempts, though even the most devilish will test your fortitude – stick with it though because as more and more puzzling elements are introduced (some 40+ levels into the game) the challenge, but also that deep, satisfying feeling that only well-earned success generates heightens.
The game isn’t so punishing as to penalise you for even momentary, split-second mistakes, you’ll always have a second chance, and when slowed, you’ll have a second or two to overcome the obstacle and regain your momentum. Level skipping is possible but you’ll miss out on the all-important orbs that you may need later in the game, so a little bit of patience and/or resilience will make a major difference to your time with RunGunJumpGun. Simple, yet intuitive design, paired with equally simple, yet incredibly precise controls mean the difference between success and failure lays in your hands, but the difficulty curve is quite reasonable, granting you plenty of time to get familiar with a mechanic before thrusting something new at you.
A pulsating soundtrack complements an exciting almost-monochromatic look that makes the game shine on a presentational level. There’s a modern-day nightclub feel about the game, and while this setting might intimidate some in real life, with a gaming controller in your hands, it only makes the heart begin to race at a rate some consider to be optimal for exercise.
Though simplistic in its premise, ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun excels at almost everything it strives for. Its pick-up-and-play nature makes it great for short bursts, but with a bit of momentum on your side, can also extract that “Oh, maybe one more go” response that only some of the best games in the genre can achieve. There’s plenty to do, but there’s plenty of fun to be had with this excellent mobile port.