The team at Distinctive Developments have chosen to veer far, far away from the colorful worlds they created in some of their other popular iPhone games like Heli Rescue and Pool Ninja, and have instead turned the lights way down in their upcoming running game, Dead Runner.

Dead Runner takes fans of the running/distance game genre into the dark side.  In the game you are running away from an unknown evil through a dimly lit forest, and you can’t stop or hide because it will surely find you.   Large trees, small trees, bushes and gravestones make up this haunted forest, and you must do everything in your power to avoid them.  The moment you run into an object and stop moving, you will be taken by the evil that pursues you.

In the game the camera is situated in a first-person perspective, as if you really are the character running from the evil, and you will be controlling your nameless character via tilt controls. Your character runs on its own, so all you will be controlling is the left and right movement.  As you run through the forest your speed will pick up, making it that much more difficult to dodge all of the obstacles.  Brushing up against trees or bushes won’t end the game for you,  but a direct hit on a tree or gravestone certainly will.

The two games modes, distance and points, are generally the same, but as their names reveal, one is purely based on distance while the other focuses on points scored.  Scoring in points mode is based on distance as well as colored floating orbs that can be obtained.  Each color adds a different amount of points or a multiplier to your score.  If you have a multiplier going and then run into a different colored orb, the original one will be cancelled out and the new one will take over.  This adds a bit of strategy to the mode.

Although Dead Runner may resemble, at least gameplay-wise, games you have played before, the atmosphere is what sets it apart.  The eerie forest gives you a sense of panic, driving you to avoid everything in your way at all costs.  Sadly, since it is a running/distance game, you won’t be able to make it out of the forest alive no matter what you do, but you can prolong the inevitable by being nimble.

Dead Runner should be hitting the App Store any day now for $.99.  We will certainly let you know the moment it does.  In the meantime, check out the gameplay trailer embedded below.