It’s been a good few weeks since we’ve checked out a good old-fashioned left-to-right endless runner. In fact, the last one was Riot Runners (bleurgh), so we’re almost certainly onto a comparative winner.
Skyline Skaters (App Store) has enjoyed a fairly significant amount of success, notching up two million downloads in its first few days, and an average 4.5 rating. But is its success – and praise – deserved?
Well, Skyline Skaters is fairly standard endless runner fare. There’s nothing massively exciting or different about it (Time Surfer lets you rewind; Robot Unicorn Attack 2 features fixed 24-hour layouts), but that’s not to say it’s not enjoyable.
You control one of a team of skaters, as he or she is pursued across the rooftops (hence Skyline Skaters) by a police helicopter.
In terms of hazards, you’ve got traffic cones, missiles and camera thingies, and if you stumble across too many objects, you’ll ultimately be caught by the aforementioned helicopter. Look out for those gaps between buildings, too.
The goal in each run is simply to last as long as possible, while collecting coins to invest in stuff that lets you skate for longer and – in turn – collect more coins to invest in stuff that lets you skate for longer and – in turn – collect more coins to invest in stuff that lets you skate for longer. And so on.
To keep things vaguely interesting, Skyline Skaters adopts a mission system, with three active at any one time. You might be tasked with racking up X near misses with missiles, or performing Y double jumps, or collecting Z multipliers; that kind of thing.
There’s also an array of boards with multipliers that affect your score and number of coins collected.
Similarly, there’s a trio of unlockable skaters (Skyline Skaters, if you will) with special abilities, namely Christy (triple jump), Barry the bear (free shield) and Mia (er, “Huge Login Bonus”).
Predictably, you’d have to put in, like, hundreds of runs to unlock everything without, y’know, just paying for stuff. Incidentally, “bucks” can be bought in five tiers from £1.49 to £69.99. Does anyone seriously pay £69.99 for in app purchases?
Oddly, despite the relatively slow sense of progress, and despite the power-ups being utterly predictable (magnet, rocket, shield…), Skyline Skaters is actually – as I mentioned before - fairly enjoyable. Go figure.
- Feels good
- Lots of missions
- Lots of boards
- Slow sense of progress
- Does nothing new for the genre
- Quite samey after a few runs
Summary: Skyline Skaters is an entirely run of the mill left-to-right endless runner, but somehow succeeds in entertaining despite doing absolutely nothing unique or interesting. Weird.
Developer: Tactile Entertainment
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPod touch (4th generation), and iPod touch (5th generation). This app is optimized for iPhone 5.