Shane Rogers | Dec 17 2012 12:10 AM
has been around for awhile now, and not being a huge fan of the endless running genre I haven’t exactly had this one at the top of my radar. Still, sometimes boredom leads me to download a game that isn’t something that I would normally get - so this time around it’s Subway Surfers, from Kiloo Games
. While true that it wasn’t a game that would normally catch my eye, it has managed to somehow take up a large amount of my time as of late.
In the current incarnation of Subway Surfers, you take on the role of Jake as he tries to outrun and outwit a pudgy Santa Claus and his dog (complete with reindeer outfit), who is dead set against dragging you back to some hole in the wall. If you’re not a fan of the holiday theme, don’t fret because there is an option to go disable good old Saint Nick and re-enable the original graphic of a conductor. As you can most likely ascertain from the name of the game, all of the action takes place along a series of train rails - not exactly the safest place in the world that I would want to be running along, but it is what it is.
The action is controlled simply enough, and if you’ve played any of the myriad other running games out there you really don’t need me or the in game tutorial to tell you how to play it - but I figure I’ll tell you anyhow: swipe left or right to change lanes, swipe up to jump, swipe down to roll (or quickly plop down when airborne). While you are on your endless path, you will make plenty of use of those controls as you dodge oncoming trains and either jump over barriers or roll underneath them. The action starts out slowly enough, picking up the pace and the number of obstacles thrown your way as the level progresses.
Of course it wouldn’t be your standard endless running game if there wasn’t something to pick up along your path, and Subway Surfers is no exception to that rule. The majority of your characters’ acrobatic moves will be used in order to pick up coins - I’m assuming here that these are subway coins that other commuters have dropped or something. You will also find a nice assortment of power up items to collect, ranging from sneakers that enable you to leap tall buildings in a single bound (not really, more like jump over entire trains, still cool though), a magnet that attracts coins, score multipliers and a jetpack. Also randomly scattered about the track are mystery boxes which can contain any number of items. These mystery boxes are also the only way to unlock new characters, although doing so will require an inordinate number of them - for example I believe one will require acquiring 500 like items.
To assist you along your never ending journey you do have a few other tools at your disposal. Chief amongst these are hover boards, which if you are on one it will save you from a single fall. To activate a board, you simple double tap on the screen and your character will pull one out and jump aboard. You will also come across head start boosts, which can be activated at the start of your run and will send you shooting through the level.
Sure it’s fun dodging obstacles and running along the tops of trains collecting coins, but if that’s all there was to do in Subway Surfers there really wouldn’t be much of a point in doing anything. Fortunately there are always two different kinds of challenges that need to be tackled: the standard point multiplier challenge and the daily challenge. The point multiplier challenge consists of three different goals that must be met in order to move on to the next challenge. These can be simple (get caught within the first 5 seconds) or difficult (roll 50 times in the middle lane or something). Once you’ve reached all three goals, then you add one more multiplier to your score. The daily challenge is usually a little easier and involves picking up letters to spell out some word, currently they are rather holiday oriented but that’s understandable. Once you’ve accomplished that, you get the next daily challenge prize, usually more coins or a mystery box.
Subway Surfers just wouldn’t be a complete game these days if it didn’t also have some kind of in app purchase option, and needless to say it does not disappoint (or does, depending on your view of things). While I have not needed to take advantage of the in app purchases, you do have the option to buy more coins if you want them. Coins can be used in the store to buy more power ups and lengthen the time that the upgrades (the magnet, double score, sneakers, jetpack) last in game. You can also use coins to bypass any of the missions if you should so desire.
As with many games these days, the graphics in Subway Surfers isn’t too bad. The 3D models look good and cartoony and are animated well. There is a bit of stutter occasionally, though that could just as easily be applications that are running in the background on my device. The only couple of gripes that I have with Subway Surfers would be that sometimes the swipe controls don’t register as quickly as I would like them to. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the stuttering, or if it’s just that my fingers are oily at times, but it’s worth bringing up just the same. The other gripe that I have would be in the music and sounds. While the music is not too bad, the sound effect for picking up a coin is very jarring and somewhat ear shattering.....and there are a lot of coins to be picked up.
I have said this before but I think it’s worth repeating here, sometimes you find a game that under any other circumstances you just wouldn’t even give a second thought to and you decide to see what it’s all about. Then you wind up enjoying it. For me, Subway Surfers is one of those games. Sure the sound effects are horrendous but it’s not enough to keep me from playing it, nor is it enough to keep me from recommending it. It’s available for free from the Google Play store, so why not see what it’s all about.
Subway Surfers is available for free on the Google Play Store