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    dkirschner's Canabalt (PC)

    [February 19, 2013 02:52:06 AM]
    Sitting at work feeling tired and like I've been reading too much. Went to get some tea and decided to boot a game for a bit for some stimulus. Apparently Steam needs an update, and won't update at work anymore. I know I haven't been able to download new Steam games since forever, but I haven't tried to run Steam here in at least 3 months. Must update at home then...

    So I decided to try one of the little non-Steam games I got from a Humble Bundle called Canabalt. I don't know why it was in a Humble Bundle because it is a free Flash game online. I usually avoid all Flash games because there are a trillion of them and I'd rather play bigger games. But since I technically paid a tiny amount of money for Canabalt in a bundle, I'm playing, dammit.

    Canabalt is an endless running game, and is apparently (from reading a little) quite revered. I can see why. It's got a ton of style. It's grayscale pixel graphics and a nice futuristic electronic soundtrack featuring a couple songs. The backstory appears to be something about robots attacking, and I'm running, running across rooftops. I was surprised that, upon my second run, the spot I died was not in the same spot. The levels are randomly generated! This is awesome because upon that second run, I was like, ok, this sucks, I have to start memorizing where windows are...but I didn't! Instead I had to quickly react to every new rooftop.

    My #1 killers were said windows. Those are hard because you have to accurately judge how hard to press the jump button. All you can do in the game is jump, and you can hold it for a longer jump or tap it for a shorter jump, and whatever in between. As you run, you build up speed, making your longer jumps really long. When windows suddenly appear, and you're flying across a rooftop, getting that light touch on the jump key is tough, after 15 minutes of playing at least - I was already getting better at it. Other obstacles include these things that pop up from the (middle it seems) of rooftops that kill you, grind you to dust or whatever the death message says. Just jump over those. Then there are boxes and chairs that, if you hit them, slow you down. I found these are actually real useful to manage your speed. I'd run into them sometimes on purpose to slow down a bit. It seems the distances between buildings are determined (when I don't know) based on how fast you're going. So the slower you are, the easier the windows are to jump into because you have more time to see them coming and gauge how hard you need to jump. But if you hit too many boxes (sometimes there will be 2 right next to, or on top of, one another), that's bad because you slow down too much and might not be able to jump far enough. The goal of the game is to get as high a score as possible. I made it to over 3000, my personal best after 15 minutes.

    Problem is that once I looked up from the game (after halfway through my session and at the end) the back of my desk, all my books, my other monitor, it was all moving left to right like my Canabalt character. Uuuungh, my head and stomach said. I got up and walked around a minute after the first time, and put my head down after the second. I started feeling better about 10 minutes after turning it off. What nonsense is that? So, as cool as I find Canabalt to be, I'll have to let that poor guy die by robots because I'm not going to get nauseous to run him across rooftops to safety (or quick and painful death, in my case). And that's too bad.

    This is the...third notable endless running game I've played. This is like a genre now, right? Canabalt, Mirror's Edge (loved), and Temple Run (didn't care much for). I'm sure there are a ton more. What is it? Endless running games? Always running? Newton's First Law games? Jumpjumpjump games? Or swipeswipeswipe on phones and tablets?

    Unnngh. This game did nothing help me get back to work!
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    dkirschner's Canabalt (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 19 February, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 19 February, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    It's really engrossing, and you have to focus hard while playing. Great music, visual design...but turns out it makes me feel ill.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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