I really don’t know where to start when talking about Zombie Parkour Runner. Like Braid, we have a game that tells a story in a completely different way than what we’re used to being told. However, it’s very easy to miss that story.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Just what is Zombie Parkour Runner?
Like Mirror’s Edge on iOS before it, we have a female lead jumping from rooftop to rooftop and avoiding obstacles using her parkour skills. Unlike Mirror’s Edge, it has zombies and controls like your average endless runner.
Zombie Parkour Runner, however, is not an endless runner. Whereas most runners generate areas procedurally, these stages have been constructed manually. Though it has runner in the name, it’s far closer to a traditional platforming game with branching paths and stages that end when you reach the goal. You don’t have direct control of your movement, you only control the actions you take while moving to the right. Tapping either jumps or does context-sensitive parkour. It’s very simplistic, but it’s also very enjoyable.
Successfully perform parkour three consecutive times and you earn a score multiplier (with a cap at 4x) and a minor speed increase. Falter within the environment, though, and that multiplier is reset and you lose your speed. At the end of the stage, you’re given a star rating based on your score.
It’s easy to take the story represented in the game’s cut scenes as the entirety of the story. Take the game at face value and you have a game about a girl out to retrieve her stuff from thieving zombies. It’s a silly, lighthearted take on the zombie genre.
Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll see why Kara wants her house items back so badly. Hidden within each stage is a house item. Once you collect the item, it is placed within the house found on the main menu. There you can read a description.
The further you get, the more you realize that these aren’t mere personal possessions Kara is after. They are sentimental treasures she needs while coping with loss. The description of item 3-8, in particular, broke my heart. It’s a surprisingly somber revelation in an otherwise lighthearted game.
As simplistic and brief as the game is, it is also a load of fun with surprising depth, smooth animation, solid sound, and support for both OpenFeint and GameCenter. This game is far under the radar, but it is a definite must-buy for people who need a change-of-pace from standard iOS fare.
About the Author
|Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming.
Keep up with him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Fade2Slack so he can justify having a Twitter account.
Fade to Slack has written 308 posts on Delta Attack.