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Review: Zone Runner: Portable
Author: AndyUK
Added: 30/06/2018 02:34:39

I forgot there were specific areas to write about and review. Couldn't this have been a guideline rather than a requirement?
2001 TDC admins I'm talking to you!!

Anyway, the game is presented as an updated version of zone runner. I don't remember too much detail of the original game so this wont be a comparison review.
It's all very functional and slick. You can get into the game very quickly but some of the options are entirely pointless. I have no idea what extras I will be unlocking so I don't really care and Help doesn't help. The only option that is useful is removing the background for those that have bad eyesight I guess?
The sprite of the main character is on display too so we know it's a retro styled game. Not sure the dithering works though Chris!

Gameplay! It's all about the gameplay isn't it? This is very simple. Collect the coins to progress. There are no fancy special moves or powerups (That I found) Your character doesn't have many moves but on a tablet game thats a good thing. The gimmicks are standard platforming stuff. Springs, spikes etc, and there is some very basic enemy AI going on too. It's at the level of Manic Miner in terms of simplicity only not as hard. It certainly has a one more go feel to it. When i died it was mostly my own fault. There were times when i pressed jump and he didnt jump but that might have been because my man had walked off a platform by one pixel. Some games are more generous than that Chris! The buttons are on the botton of the screen so your fingers dont get in the way and I really like how they get triggered by an area much larger than the actual button graphics. Good thinking there. One problem i noticed is that there is a small delay between pressing one of the virtual buttons and the player performing that move. Not sure if anyone else even noticed it to be honest. I doubt it's a problem only for my tablet.

The graphics are very 2005 Klick. Click? Klik. The golden age of freeware games development when people were trying to recreate the pixel art from 90s consoles. Only we weren't professionals so most games didn't look or animate anywhere near as good. This game never really pushed the boat out in any area graphically either. But that takes a lot of effort so it's not a negative really. It's all drawn in Circyvision. That is, double pixel outlines and tiny characters that are 50% face. The colours chosen are very good but the animations and pixel art are all functional. I dont think the dithering works on such crystal clear screens. I suppose it does mimmick that 90's style but in the 90's dithering was used because you couldn't see the dithering. It's a thing Ive been guilty of over the years. Using dithering when you have 6 billion colours at your disposal. It doesn't do anything beyond basic graphically but it's fairly pretty anyway.

The soundtrack seems to have changed. I think I prefer the older music. I bet the original was selected from an internet archive. I also hear sound effects that are very similar to every single retro themed freeware/indie game ever made since about 2004. It's pretty lazy but you're not the only guilty one. Wasn't there a SFX generator? It actually irks me that they all sound the same because games I used to play don't sound like that so it doesn't sound retro to me it sounds LAZY INDIE.

It's hard to say because you can easily come back to it every now and then but there's also 100 billion different free Android games out there. Most are much worse than this (I did play some!) It will last as long as you want to carry on playing it.

An updated Click classic. I think even at the time we all knew it was a small quick blast and nothing amazing. Although to be honest at the time actually finishing a game was beyond most TDC members. I didn't come across any major bugs and it all works as intended bar the slight delay in the controls Well done updating and releasing something in 2018 Chris :)

Sound and Music:

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Posted by The Chris Street 30th June, 2018

Thanks for the review all very fair comments. The Help menu was designed to be unhelpful but I may change this in an update. The extras menu... well keep an eye on the Facebook page for information on that soon. I'm glad you seem to mostly like it
Posted by AndyUK 30th June, 2018

I always did like the games you made. Simple innocent fun.
Now I find myself being a bit anal about some things that I wouldn't have been back in the early 2000s

For instance I wouldn't have made my character so floaty because it actually makes it really easy to avoid 99% of the obstacles.


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Worth A Click