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Game #5051
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Arena Runner    View all Top Dogs in this genre
Action   Other action

Rating: 7 (9 votes)

Arena Runner box cover

Arena Runner screenshot
Arena Runner is another quality freeware action game from the talented Apocalyptic Coders group. Circy's review for Klik-Me.com says it all:

"I guess, in a couple of ways, Arena Runner perhaps resembles a Snake game. You "activate" pills lying on the floors of each arena. Nab them all and you go to the next level. However, things are more complicated. Firstly, AR is a much pacier game than the aforementioned mobile phone favourite. Secondly, you don't gain any extra body parts when a pill has been activated. And thirdly... well... they say that variety is the spice of life.

There is always so much going on in Arena Runner. You didn't really think that the challenge would be just collecting pills, did you? Various obstacles and enemies make the going pretty difficult. For a start, there is a gun turret on each of the four main walls of each arena, and they shoot at you when you're in their line of sight. Avoiding these can be extremely challenging in later levels, which are much more compact and less comfortable than you might think. In addition to these, there are ice tiles. If you've played the game Chip's Challenge, then the ice tiles play a similar role, in that once you stand on one, you're pushed forward in the direction you're facing, but you can't change direction until you're back on "normal" ground... and of course, mines litter later arenas.

The graphics in Arena Runner are fairly good, although I can't see any animations - save for the moving background - at all. The main ship is sprited nicely, while the entire game sports an almost "Matrix" look, with neon green effects. The backgrounds are much more basic, though, than the sprites, but for some reason this gives the entire game a crisp, clean look.

Audio-wise, well, there's some nice music by Twilight Terror. It follows the similar "chip" style as heard in all his other tunes. However, they can get a bit repetitive and eventually begin to sound like a pneumatic drill. Sound effects are fairly minimalistic. The gun turrets shooting at you, you exploding, collecting pills - all of these are accompanied by the most basic noises. Still, with a game of this type, they're not a big issue.

It's a case of love or hate with this type of gameplay. As Arena Runner can get VERY hard in later levels, it's just a matter of whether you feel you can beat the level you're on, or press ALT-F4 in disgust. But the game is, no doubt, pretty addictive until you reach that level... and to further reinforce that addiction is the inclusion of an online high score system. You won't be making the top ten for a long time, I don't think, until you actually get good at the game.

If there is any nitpicking, I might say that, like its music, Arena Runner can get very repetitive. There's a hearty twenty five levels to beat, and you may get sick and tired of the risk/reward factor - i.e, a laserbeam is heading in your direction, but you can just get that final pill - only to be decimated by said laserbeam. This may lead to some frustration. Still, what we have here is a very solid game. The engine is smooth, fast and responsive and the game looks quite nice. If you like the challenge, then Arena Runner is worth downloading - but it won't be for everyone."

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Jimmy Riley
Developer: Acoders
Publisher: Freeware
Year: 2004
Software Copyright: Jimmy Riley
None that we know of
System Requirements: Windows XP
Where to get it:
Related Links: Official site
If you like this game, try: Defender of Grim, N, Kaiser Kitty

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