Classic iPhone game corner: Canabalt review

Run, bleak monochrome future man, run! There's something nightmarish about the sparsely elegant one-button platformer Canabalt: you can’t win, you can’t escape, and eventually you’ll miss a jump and die. The aim is simply to get as far across that endless crumbling rooftop as possible. (It’s not even clear what catastrophe you’re fleeing, although the giant figures stalking the landscape behind are probably a clue.)

There's only one button: jump. Eveything else is handled automatically. But dealing with the jumps is more than enough to be getting along with, what with the falling buildings, tiny glass windows, gaps and platforms of varying length and occasional crashing spaceship to contend with.

The automatic acceleration and hyperactive soundtrack ratchet up the energy levels beautifully, the super-retro graphics are gloriously evocative, and it’s hard to imagine a more accessible or mobile-friendly game.

The 70 best games for iPhone and iPad: Great gaming apps for iOS tablets and smartphones

For more classic gaming action, check out our feature 'The 50 best games ever for iPad & iPhone', in issue 66 of iPad & iPhone User magazine, out now.

OUR VERDICT

Beautifully sparse, yet tense, gripping and extremely challenging, it’s hard to imagine a more accessible or mobile-friendly game than Canabalt.

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