Endless runner games have done exceptionally well on the App Store for a long time. I was introduced to the concept when I played Mirror’s Edge on the PlayStation, and have been hooked on this type of game ever since.
Endless runners leave you little time to make decisions, and that makes these games exciting — and sometimes frustrating!
Here are three of the best iOS endless runners — and they all cost less than $3!
Canabalt was one of the very first games I ever installed on my iPad. Years later, the game is still being developed, and is now universal for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Your character starts off in an industrial building, and once you’ve jumped out the window, you’re off! You’ll hop across rooftops in a setting filled with gray, black and white hues. Once you can’t quite make a jump, or smack into the side of a building, you’re done. A great soundtrack ties the game together, and makes you feel a sense of urgency as you try to make your escape.
In Jetpack Joyride, you play as Halfbrick Studios’ popular character Barry Steakfries. Barry’s made cameos in a bunch of games, but in this one he wears a jetpack that doubles as a machine gun.
This game has it all: It’s an endless runner that allows you to customize your character, customize your jetpacks, do missions, level up and so much more. Recently, Halfbrick teamed up with Back to the Future to give Barry some BTTF-esque gear (including a DeLorean). One of my favorite parts of Jetpack is that you can acquire temporary vehicles, such as Mr. Cuddles (a fire-breathing, mechanical dragon) and Profit Bird (a mechanical Angry Birds vehicle that spits cash).
Jetpack Joyride offers in-app purchases, but I haven’t bought any other than the Counterfeit Machine, which doubles every coin you collect. I’m glad this game doesn’t have a log of how long you’ve played … it’s super-addictive!
Dan Counsell has been making great apps like Clear and Ember for a long time over at Realmac Software. I had seen teases of Almost Impossible! through Counsell’s email list, and couldn’t wait for this game to come out.
Almost Impossible! isn’t a true endless runner (in terms of the screen chasing you). It’s more like a platformer, but I wanted to include it here because it includes many elements that make up that type of game.
It is really frustrating, but also really fun. You tap on the screen to move your character (a little white ball with two eyes) and try not to hit anything other than the floor. If you end up hitting something like a block or a spike, you explode into bunches of little pixels.
Almost Impossible! lives up to its name, and even has an in-app purchase to skip a level if you’re pulling your hair out. The design and chiptune soundtrack are fun and quirky, and for just two bucks, this is a bargain game you’re going to want to play almost everywhere.