It’s a weekday and you are in the office, it is another boring day as you stare at the clock ticking slower and slower when suddenly the city around you starts to get destroyed by giant robots. What do you do? Well, you run for your life of course.
Beatshapers, the guys who brought us StarDrone, let you be that guy with Canabalt, the Playstation mini which is out now for the PS3, PSP and Playstation Vita.
Once you start up the game you will notice the art style. The retro black and white graphics really are impressive with great attention to detail with shaded out fences on the rooftops and the bits of white glass spraying outwards as you jump out of an office block window onto an adjacent rooftop. The background gives the 2D game more depth by adding giant robots making their way through the skyline as they destroy everything in their path.
Once the level starts you are thrown straight into the action controlling a smartly dressed businessman running through the hallway of what seems like an office block, towards a window. Pressing any button will make your guy jump which you will need to do if you want to survive and reach the rooftop opposite after smashing through the office block window. If you miss time the jump you will fall to your death and you will be greeted with a game over screen which tells you how the distance you managed to run whilst also telling you how you died like “hitting a wall and tumbling to your death”.
There is no options menu, there are no controls to change as the only thing you need to do is jump which can be achieved by pressing any button and the character runs automatically. As you make your way through the city you will need to jump over obstacles like boxes and chairs as well as survive giant gaps between buildings. Timing is an important factor in the game as it is what balances you between life and death. If you jump to early you can fall to your death and it will be game over, if you jump to late you may miss a window and smack straight into a wall instead causing you to fall to your death, something which I seem to do a lot, damn those windows.
In the top right of the screen you can see the distance you have ran and survived. The longer you survive the faster your guy runs, the faster the guy runs the quicker the jumps come which means you will always need to be changing the timing of your jumps as you pass buildings, cranes, billboards and even bits of machines that fall from the sky which, if ran into, will lead to your instant death, but don’t worry as a red dot appears on the screen to warn you that a big chunk of metal will be crashing in front of you.
The sound of the metal hitting the rooftops quickly reminds you of the urgency required. ‘Cannanbalt’ continues to do a great job of using sound to emphasise the situation which you have found yourself in. You can hear the footsteps as you run for your life which change with the surfaces that you are running across. You can hear the windows smash as you jump through them, the birds flying away when you run past them and the sound of the boxes or chairs you run into either slowing you down to make a jump or slowing you down accidentally so you fall to your death.
Overall this is a very impressive version of a classic flash game. It is simple yet addictive and quite a challenge once you get your speed up. The only downside is there is only one level which you can see in the screenshots. It would have been better if it had a variety of levels and maybe an ending. . .