Review by TheProdigy

"I just gotta keep runnin'"

A game about running? Well, to the new-age gamer, it may sound like a joke, but for the gamer with some classic gaming background, it may sound a bit interesting. Sure, most people would be skeptical about a game called "World Runner", and rightfully so. But don't judge a book (or game) by it's cover (or title). Even though it sounds like a waste of time, it's actually very addictive, and throws in lots of interesting factors to keep the game moving.

Speaking of movement, it's the way that this game moves that is really spectacular. You view the bizarre worlds that your character runs through from a rear perspective, and the objects of the world just sort of fly at you. You can run left and right forever, the screen scrolls along with you. It's a bit amazing that you can keep going right or left as long as you like and never hit a point where the game stops you.

And while you're running along, more and more distractions are thrown your way. There's plenty of enemies, hundreds, all excited to kill you by well, touching you. They sort of dance back and forth. If you wish to go by, you must either dodge them or jump over them. And jumping is the main aspect of this game, perhaps even more central than the theme of running. There are large black pits that you must jump over in every level.

But it's not as easy as simply tapping the jump button to avoid the pit, you have to press and hold the jump button, and your character will sail up and up for as long as you hold unless he hits his max jumping point. And at first, you can get away with simply jumping all the way to the max. But, again stirring things up, there will often be pits where you need to do a short jump and then a long jump, and if you don't see it coming you'll jump too far and end up in a pit of black death.

But most of the time, it's not the height of your jump in situations like these that will save you, it's your speed. The way this works in the game is very unique. It's almost as if you control how fast the world comes at you, instead of how fast you run. Because you can slow down things whilst in the air to come down before a black pit. This can be used to save you sometimes if you jump too far.

Now, you might say, why not just hold down the slow button during the whole game, wouldn't that make things easier? Well, maybe, but maybe not. For one thing, you would get bored quickly of things moving so slowly. But for another, there's also the factor that sometimes it's easier to just speed up things and jump over a large group of enemies.

And about these enemies, well, they're not very complex. They are mostly varying colors of blobs that get in your way. There is, however, a level that has hands that come at you, and you have to dodge because they sometimes follow you into the air and smack you! You either dodge or jump over enemies, or...shoot? Yes, shoot! If you get the rocket-looking power-up from running into a white pillar, you can shoot enemies. Most of the time you will only use this as a last resort however, since it's a lot quicker and easier to just dodge or jump.

There's a few other items you can collect from running into these white pillars, as well. There's some that will give you invincibility for a short period of time, but there's also a mushroom that will occasionally pop out and kill you instantly. Luckily, the item shoots up in the air before you can grab it, so if you are quick enough you can dodge a mushroom.

There's also a boss at the end of each level. The bosses, like the enemies, are pretty lame. Instead of making a different boss for each level, they are all the same thing basically, a worm-like dragon thing. You float in the air and shoot at it, while it charges at you and rams you. The boss battles are very lacking, because since it only takes one hit for you to die and each boss does the same things. Plus, you only have one attack. So you just line up, shoot, and dodge. A more exciting boss battle sequence would have definitely made the game more interesting.

Another thing that could have made the game more interesting is an addictive tune, but unfortunately, this is not there. There is only two tunes in the game, and bother aren't annoying, but are also easily forgettable. The beeps of jumping during the game, however, are indeed annoying and a different choice of sounds would have been better.

But all in all, a surprisingly unique and enjoyable game for the NES. You just can't place this in a category with other games because it's so different. Since there's nothing else to compare to, you have to rate this game simply by what you see. And what I see is an addictive game with lots of good qualities to it. There's just a pull to play it again and again and beat the level you're stuck on, probably because you learn something new each time you play. It's a unique game like this that most gamers overlook and as a result, miss out on a great gaming experience.

Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/08/07

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