Vector Runner for iPhone Is A Great Game That Runs Short On Options

 In $0.99, 3 Stars, iPhone Games, iPod touch Games, Racing

Vector Runner Rating: ★★★☆☆

Some of my earliest gaming memories were with vector graphic video games. It is hard to believe in this day and age that obstacles and game units outlined in white lines on a black background were once the height of technology. It is this classic early era of electronic gaming that Vector Runner from Littletgrey Media is trying to evoke. Vector Runner translates well to the iPhone environment from earlier Flash incarnations but unfortunately does so with the same stripped down sensibility of a Flash game.

Vector Runner is a simple game to learn and play. The player guides a small unit at the bottom of the screen. The playing surface is bounded by two lines that run from the bottom to top of the screen. As play begins, vector line obstacles and power ups move from the top to bottom. The player’s job is simple; avoid the obstacles and pick up the power ups. Power ups include such things as extra points, temporary invincibility, and shield boosts. Initially the player can hit three obstacles with their vehicle before the shield is depleted. Hit another obstacle and the game is over. The longer you avoid obstacles, the more points you accumulate and the faster the game runs.

I actually really liked Vector Runner. It is a simple premise that doesn’t attempt to be something it isn’t. Anyone that enjoyed the Flash version of the game will enjoy the iPhone iteration as well. That being said however, there is one item missing that seems to be so standard on most iPhone games that its absence is very noticeable.

Vector Runner does not have any sort of leveling system. When you start the game your vehicle starts at the slowest speed possible. The same is true of the speed and frequency of obstacles. After playing the game two or three times I found myself asking “I have to start back at the beginning?”. In my mind there are a few different ways this could be remedied. The easiest solution would be to have the game pick where you left off. If I made it to Level 5, why not start the game at Level 5 the next time I start? The next easiest solution would be to create a preset Easy, Medium, and Hard kind of level system. Each level could start at a certain point of the game continuum. The last solution would be to include options that allow the player to customize the starting speed and obstacle frequency. All could be easily implemented to increase the replay potential of this game.

As a whole, Vector Runner is a very good game. I just found it lacking a very fundamental aspect of most games. The developers may have wanted to stay true to the original version of the game and I can respect that. The controls are simple and easy to use; you simply tap and press to move your vehicle side to side. Vector Runner also implements a nice local and global high score system as well. I guess in the end you just need to be aware of what this game is and what it isn’t. Vector Runner is a nice little game but it certainly isn’t a full blown product like other iPhone games.

The Good:

  • Fun, retro look
  • Easy controls interface
  • Initially challenging

The Not So Good:

  • No level system
  • No game resumption option

Reviewed by: Erin Peterson

Vector Runner iPhone Gameplay

Price: $.99 as of 15 Jan
Reviewed Version: 1.0
Size: 9.8 MB
Seller: Littlegrey Media


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