David McCourt’s looks at AppStart’s new side-scroller.
WHEN Imangi Studios released Temple Run in August last year, designers Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova reaped the rewards for their hard work when it was included in the top 50 downloads chart of the iTunes store for 2011.
Its addictive gameplay and pretty graphics helped create the kind of popularity frenzy that all small game developers dream of, and so many have tired to replicate.
AppStart are no different, but is 51: Alien Outbreak the next big mainstream mobile hit? Or is this just another developer desperately trying to get a big slice of lovely money pie?
Set in Area 51, you play the role of Brian, an escaped test subject with numerous alter-egos. Brian must overcome a number of obstacles to get through the Nevada desert in order to escape his captors, and earn his freedom.
The gameplay is built around a constantly side scrolling world that see’s Brian rapidly flailing his way through the environment. Players use upward swipes to jump gaps in the land and tap to fire weaponry at oncoming enemies. The game is endless, and relies on the player’s passionate quest to build a huge score.
Sound familiar? That’s right; 51: Alien Outbreak has taken huge inspiration from Temple Run.
And that’s the biggest problem with this game. Alien Outbreak is not as good as Temple Run. It looks far, far worse. There are no tilt controls, there’s less variation in the level regeneration, it’s not as responsive to your swipes, and Temple Run is now free to play – 51: Alien Outbreak costs 69p.
But the worse thing is nobody will care about building high scores in 51: Alien Outbreak. Temple Run was a hit because it got people talking. Footballers and celebrities were tweeting their high scores. It was addictive and exciting, and felt rewarding when you finally got that huge score you’d been chasing.
51: Alien Outbreak is so late to the party, and so ill-equipped to compete with what’s already there, it might as well of not bothered turning up at all.
You can buy the game here: 51: Alien Outbreak