Chase that boat!
The problem with being unique is that when someone with a long beard builds a big boat and asks 2 of every animal to climb aboard you end up being left behind. So begins a madcap race for our oddball friends as they board a raft and brave the dangerous waters to catch up with the ark.
While there are plenty of endless runners on the App Store, it never hurts to have one more, especially when it successfully blends humour, risk and reward so well. Chillingo's new title manages to do just that and looks pretty good while doing it, too.
The game is a typical into-the-screen endless runner. Ride the raft and use left and right buttons on each side of the screen to steer around rocks, sharks, crocodiles, exploding barrels and huge creatures waiting on the side of the bank. As with all the best runners, fast reflexes and a knack for collecting coins are all that is required.
Tasks are given in threes, a familiar sight to anyone who's ever played pretty much any of these sort of games before. You'll get a star for grabbing a certain amount of coins, passing a particular number of enemies or unlocking a boat or upgrade. The only issue here is that they don't really feel like they lead to any sort of progress in the game. That's left up to the coins.
Coins are the game's currency, picked up by running in to them on the river. Once you reach 1500 you can buy your first power-up which will fly you through the first stage of the game. This is useful, as the distance travelled is your main score and if you're the sort of player that checks your progress on the Game Center high score tables then the further you get, the bigger your score.
Other small power-ups are occassionally given during the game. If you see a shining icon on the river, it's worth taking a detor to go pick it up. Everything from the coin magnet to a rocket is here, it's all very familiar and doesn't really stick its neck out to be different.
Graphically, the game has been designed with bright colours and cartoon characters in mind. Even the sharks look funny while they chomp their way through the water and the whole game moves along at a fair pace while throwing plenty at you in the process.
Catch the Ark doesn't try to rock the boat of Endless Runner games, but it doesn't need to. The charm of its character and the fun gameplay means that it's another solid game from the Chillingo stable and a must for Endless Runner fans.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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