Atom Run by Fingerlab icon

Atom Run ($2.99) by Fingerlab is a futuristic platform game that is actually quite challenging, and will keep you busy if you are a fan of the genre. If games like Bloo Kid and Instantion are your cup of tea, then you will enjoy what Atom Run offers.

I enjoy platformers as much as anyone could. I grew up on these games — stuff like Super Mario Bros. and the like are what I spent hours on as a kid, so I love platformer games because they bring back a slice of my childhood. And if you grew up in the same era as me, then chances are you love them too. Or anyone who enjoys a good challenge likely enjoys a good platformer, as they are definitely one of the toughest games to play. I was intrigued with Atom Run, because of the futuristic setting, and of course, the robot (who doesn’t like robots). So I decided to check it out this week, and it’s quite the gem.

Atom Run by Fingerlab screenshot

The visuals in Atom Run are quite stunning. There are captivating cinematic cutscenes, and then you’ll be greeted with beautifully crafted levels that remind me of a steampunk-themed Sonic game. The stages are colorful and vibrant, and everything is incredibly detailed. Atom Run uses a 2-D game engine, but is rendered in 3-D. Animations are also rather smooth and fluid, and I did not experience any lag while playing the game on my iPhone 5s. The electronic soundtrack is quite adrenaline-pumping, as you’re basically racing against the clock. The sounds are fun, too.

There are multiple zones available, but you’ll need to complete each level in order to move on to the next zones. I am still in the first zone, because I have been trying to perfect each level, and it’s actually rather difficult. However, from the looks of it, there are about four levels in each zone to go through, and even though it may not seem like much, the stages are quite challenging. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll end up spending a lot of time on this game.

Each level has the basic goal of getting to the exit point, which is basically a gate at the end. However, along the way, you will need to collect the atoms and molecules that you’ll find, as it’s the year 2264 and only robots survived a disaster that wiped out everything else. Radiation is also a big factor in the game, as they made all of the robots uncontrollable, except for Elgo, the one you’ll be controlling. He will need to gather up atoms and molecules in order to create new life and start anew. You’ll need to avoid dangerous obstacles, like spinning blades and a lot of fire, though you have infinite lives and checkpoints. Of course, time is also of the essence, and each level will be timed — if you can complete the level within that time, you will earn bonus points. If not, you get deducted from your final score. The number of atoms you collect will also count towards your score.

Atom Run by Fingerlab screenshot

The controls are rather simple, though I think they could have been better, considering some of the best controls for an iOS platformer I’ve seen are in Mikey Shorts and Mikey Hooks. In the bottom left, you will have buttons for moving Elgo left and right, and the bottom right has the button to jump. A double jump is possible by tapping on the jump button twice.

As I mentioned, the controls could be better. I found that sometimes it seemed that the touch radius of the movement buttons is a bit small, and I’m not a fan of the placement. Unfortunately, there is no way to customize the controls to your liking, which is a shame — hopefully the developer considers adding this in a future update. Fortunately, though, if you have a MFi controller, Atom Run fully supports it. So dust it off and put it to good use with this platformer.

As platformer games are always competitive in nature, there is Game Center integration with Atom Run. I would like to see achievements added in the future.

So far, I’m enjoying Atom Run, and I know that this will be keeping me entertained for quite some time because it’s so challenging, and I’m a perfectionist when it come to platformers. The graphics are quite phenomenal, the soundtrack is enthralling, and the levels are designed to be very challenging, especially due to the timers. I just want to see improved controls in the future, or give players the option to customize it to their liking instead.

Still, I recommend any platformer fans to pick up Atom Run if a challenge is what you desire. You can get Atom Run on the App Store as a universal download for $2.99.