Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Webnesday - Canabalt

In my usual "last one to the party" fashion, I decided to take on a game I hadn't played before but is so well-known that it's what the genre is usually named after. In this case, it's a game simple enough that one button is all you need but difficult enough that you'll be trying and cussing over and over again until you're no longer invited to the neighbor's place for dinner. That game is Canabalt from Semi Secret Software.

Canabalt is a pretty simple browser game that has your nameless runner jumping from building to building as fast as he can, trying to avoid falling to his death or running into the occasional missile. To do this, all you need to do is hit the X or C key of your keyboard (both do the same thing). Simple, right? Well, yes actually. For the first couple buildings. Then you're relying on fast reflexes to make sure your jumps don't fling you into the sides of buildings but do get you over a stray missile that landed in front of your always-running character. Other obstacles include random furniture that slows you down but doesn't kill you directly and the occasional collapsing building that might require you to jump a little earlier than planned.

For a game that looks a bit like a NES game in black and white when still, Canabalt is gorgeous in motion. Your little dude is animated with quite a lot of detail, from the rolls he does when he lands after a long drop to the way he swings his arms and legs mid-jump. The background and buildings all have a decent amount of detail as well, helping to give the simple idea of the game more life and personality. Even better than all this, however, is the background music. It's amazing. If I ever need to run from something or am in the middle of a high-speed pursuit, I would want this song playing more than any other tune in the history of good music.

I could probably play Canabalt over and over just to hear the song, but the quick pace of the game along with the short span of each run has you retrying over and over until you either need to sleep sometime that week or a freak storm cuts your power. It's a great browser game, and I'm glad I don't have a decent phone or else I'd probably just play it while I'm out and not pay attention to where I'm driving. Er, who I'm talking to. Yeah, that's it. Anyway, if you haven't already, go try out this incredibly addicting one-button platformer by clicking here. Unless you're at work. I'd feel bad if I got you fired...and if they canned you right there, you'd probably have to stop playing anyway.

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