Running along the path blazed by similar iOS games like Canabalt and Mirror’s Edge comes the new release rComplex (March 2012). rComplex takes running against a sprawling 2D background game and adds a shotgun/scythe combo weapon to the mix. You won’t be looking to get the best time or high score in this game merely staying just ahead of the tentacled beast that is chasing you.
Getting up to speed
Unlock a total of seven levels and unravel the story of rComplex. Each level has the screen-filling, tentacled monster chasing you. You can’t seem to remember what has transpired. You’re talking to yourself in a bizarre, noir-inspired narrative. Every part of you just wants to run. After a brief page of comic panels you have just enough story to get it, survive. More pieces of story are revealed between levels.
A touch of style
Visually the game is very striking with the powerful use of red, white and blue as the main colors. The silhouetted characters have that vector art look and allow your imagination to fill in the gaps. Obstacles stand out in glaring green and blue, their odd colors are probably the only thing helping you on this run. While I admire the use of color and the typography of the menu screen, the graphics feel a little unpolished. The antialiasing is poor and the tentacled monster is lacking.
In addition to the narrative voice over, rComplex presents some fun sounds. Throughout the game there are some good tracks like the catchy “Can’t die now” theme song.
Jump damn you
You have three simple choices as you make your way across town: jump, slide or shoot. The latter of those is easy, press on the screen to shoot your shotgun at your pursuer. Sliding and jumping are the true gameplay, sliding under ladders and boxes or jumping over heidants and bicycles. While sliding feels quick and jumping can be painfully slow and seemingly inaccurate. Originally controlled with swipes of the finger up and down the problem has been addressed over the past few updates (V1.3). Now jumping and sliding correspond to over-sized up and down arrows that obstruct the game. Staying ahead of your pursuer while actively scanning the ground ahead for obstacles is tough enough without shoddy controls.
It’ll take some fluid movement and the ability to learn from your mistakes to get ahead. If you’re looking for some content for your iOS device, rComplex will run equally well on your iPad and Phone. If you haven’t played Canabalt, or another game like this, go ahead and pick this up. If you’ve already played a few, you're not missing much here.