Game

Climb endless stories with the addictive freemium game High Rise

Price: Free
Version: 1.3
Size: 30.0 MB
Developer: Kumobius
Platform: iPhone / iPad

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Endless Runners are a popular iOS staple – the infinite nature of them was never really big until the smartphone came along, but it’s great for short bursts of gameplay and return play as you try to beat your own (and your friends’) top score.

The premise is simple – keep climbing those stories. But the building does get narrower as you keep going

The premise is simple – keep climbing those stories. But the building does get narrower as you keep going

Due to the auto-generated level approach, the games can get a bit samey, but the very best ones combine fun characters, pleasant visuals, unobtrusive ads and IAPs, and super-addictive gameplay. High Risers is the latest of the genre and we’ve been getting stuck in to its skyscraper-climbing antics for the last few days. High Risers might take a similar approach to other games in its genre, but what sets it apart from others that barely get played before deletion, is it incorporates the kind of arcade aesthetics of old – you keep playing High Risers for the same reason you kept putting quarters in that arcade machine.

Levels are procedurally generated, but include a handful of tricky designs

Levels are procedurally generated, but include a handful of tricky designs

In fact, it’s not dissimilar in its approach to the original Donkey Kong arcade game – having to ascend stories to get to the top. Of course, there’s no giant monkey there throwing barrels at you. In fact, there’s not much in the way of obstacles at all – to succeed, you need to rely on your own razor-sharp focus, stamina, and agility. Because if you walk off the edge of the building, it’s over.

The guys in the pulleys are tricky – bounce off of them to make them rise with you, protecting you from falling off the edge

The guys in the pulleys are tricky – bounce off of them to make them rise with you, protecting you from falling off the edge

The only control required in High Risers is one thumb which makes your character jump up to the next story. They then keep running until either hitting a wall and turning back the other way, or running off the edge if there is no wall. The timing and rhythmic qualities also require the player to stay focused, but if you get too locked in, you won’t notice that the pattern of walled-floors to non-walled-floors has changed and you’re about to run off the edge.

Sometimes the buildings level out and you follow a more traditional platform game approach

Sometimes the buildings level out and you follow a more traditional platform game approach

The level design cycles through a handful of designed segments. Frequently you’ll be focused on ascending standard stories, before perhaps getting to the top of the building where your character is forced to start running sideways, hopping on standalone platforms before getting to the next ascent. Elsewhere, you’ll run into cranes, which you need to bounce off so that they ascend with you, maintaining the barrier to fall off.

Your score ramps up with each story you ascend. The first few sets of ten are pretty easy, but with each set, the platforms get shorter requiring much faster reactions.

There's a whole range of new characters – some can be gained as a free gift and others can be bought as an IAP but they don't affect gameplay

There’s a whole range of new characters – some can be gained as a free gift and others can be bought as an IAP but they don’t affect gameplay

There’s hours of fun in High Rise and for a premium game, the extras and IAP are largely kept in the background. Sure, if you get a particularly high score, you can choose to watch a video to continue from where you left off, and extra characters and ‘worlds’ – such as space – can be bought, but they’re largely just aesthetics built on the same base characters. So, considering High Risers is free, why not share it with a few friends and see who can get the high score. We’re currently on 798. Good luck.

Review: High Risers – new super-addictive, well-designed endless runner for iOS
One of the better examples of a freemium endless runner
For
  • Addictive
  • Great design
Against
  • There's not a huge variety in level design
  • New characters don't change gameplay
4.0Overall Score