Atom Run is an enthusiastic little platformer, but its charm wears thin pretty quickly
Fingerlab, developers of Atom Run, describe their game as ‘action-packed’. But, we’d say that this description has been over-egged somewhat. This futuristic platformer features a teeny little robot, which jumps around collecting coins and avoiding other, bigger, presumably naughtier robots, that try to kill him. The graphics are honed, bright, and lovingly crafted. The gameplay is smooth, the on screen touch pads suitably sensitive. But the problem with Atom Run is, well, it’s a bit… bland.
This is the contention with the game. It’s an enjoyable player to watch, and for the first couple of levels, it’s all by-numbers stuff, but sooner or later, it just isn’t enough to hold the enthusiasm. The story goes something like this: it’s 2246, there’s been a big robot-y war and now there’s a bunch of evil robots, the world (which world?) can only be saved by another robot, who somehow escaped becoming the evil one. To save the world this robot has to complete levels, with the opportunity to collect up to three ‘badges’ in each one. You can get one for collecting each and every ‘coin’ throughout the level, another for completing it within the allotted time, and another for finding a special kind of coin that can be found hidden somewhere within the level.
These aren’t difficult achievements – the special coin can be found simply by not following the logical direction of the level, while the coins are rarely hard to reach and the time-scale is also easily achieved if you’re not concentrating on gathering the coins – there’s no hope of this in later levels as often you have to sacrifice the little robot to reach certain coins.
Easy ways to die
This is just one of the easy ways to die, often you’re pushed by a spring into an electrical fire, or you accidentally fall into a pit, but you’re always able to start again nearby, and you have infinite lives, so it’s no big deal.
You can also repeat the levels a few times, which allows you to concentrate on getting just one of the badges at a time. But thanks to this lack of challenge, the game soon gets boring and you find yourself collecting the coins with the same robotic enthusiasm as, presumably, the little automaton is itself. Why are we collecting these coins anyway? Why do we need to do it in a certain about of time? How will this save the world? This lack of story is usually fine if the game is harmless fun, but Atom Run, unfortunately, is just harmless.
Essentially, Atom Run is a carbon-copy of the hundreds of other platformers out there in the App Store – it’s not exciting, it’s not new, and we’d be remiss to recommend it.
Price: $2.99 / £1.99
Size: 78.6 MB
Platform: iOS Universal
- Looks great - and shiny
- Gameplay is smooth
- Lacking in story so it’s hard to engage
- It’s not particularly challenging