Audiorun ($0.99) by Alexander Shen takes you into the iOS game world using only two of your senses: sound and touch. No sight required. Or smell. If you're into those kind of games.
This creative game was released in September, and I'm ashamed to say that somehow I missed it. We all know the App Store is full of games, a lot of which use the same mechanics. Every so often, though, a game comes along that holds its own and stands out in some way.
First things first: find your headphones, folks. Although the game can be played without them, it's all about the audio, so headphones are recommended. Trust me, it's worth it.
You'll be given brief instructions, both textually and orally, of how to play the game. Listen to the audial cues and get ready to tap the screen (anywhere) to jump from rooftop to rooftop.
You hear yourself running — shoes pounding against the pavement as you make your way across rooftops. As you get closer and closer to the edge, your footsteps let up and all you hear is your heartbeat.
If you made it safely, you'll continue running across the next rooftop until you're ready to jump again. I know it's repetitive, but it's fun to just close your eyes, listen to the sounds, and tap the screen to make your way over the traffic in the street below. It's like playing Russian roulette, but much safer.
Don't jump too early, and don't jump too late, or you'll fall from the building straight into that noisy traffic. I don't even want to know what that mistake sounds like — it's a good thing the developer spared us those sounds.
The goal is to make the most jumps, without falling to your death. I made it to 44 successful jumps, but my jumps past 36 apparently went unnoticed. The voice just said that I made it "36 or more" and that I was crazy. Crazy good is what he meant, apparently.
The only thing this games needs is incentive for replaying it because, as I said, it's very repetitive. Add Game Center support with achievements, maybe some different kind of "levels," and this game could really take off.
I'm sure this game didn't take as much to make as most games out there, but the innovative nature of it alone caught my attention. I really hope the developer sees this review and takes note of these additions, because I really think he could have something here. I look forward to some updates.
Audiorun is available in the App Store for $0.99 for the iPhone. It's fun for a while, despite its repetitiveness, but the fresh take on iOS gaming is what really made me like it. It's something different. But until it gets updated with a little more to offer, you may want to wait. I've learned the hard way that not everyone is as easily amused as I.