A shameless clone of the popular Canabalt running game for iOS has passed Apple’s approval process and is now available in the App Store. Free Running uses the Canabalt source code and makes no effort to be different or hide its imitation.
Canabalt’s source code was released by its developer last year so that other developers code use its game engine to create their own games. It was released under an MIT open source license, and its developer makes it clear that other developers cannot “distribute or redistribute [the] game code, art or sounds.”
PLD Soft have done exactly that with Free Running; taking the code, repackaging it with little to no changes, and submitting it to the App Store under a new name. Unfortunately for the great Canabalt, Apple approved it, leading to questions about its App Store approval process.
Last week Apple approved a Super Mario clone that was also a blatant rip-off; and later pulled it after just a few days. Thankfully there isn’t an official Super Mario game in the App Store that could have been damaged by its release, as there is with Free Running.
While Apple does a great job of keeping harmful, crude, and badly made applications out of the App Store, its review policy clearly isn’t perfect, and there’s a growing list of apps & games that get approved for a short period, which should have never entered the store in the first place.
Please don’t download this flagrant forgery.