Rage Runner
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Rage Runner is quite a challenging title and, as the name implies, it can be frustrating at times. Having to weave your way through obstacles at high speeds while changing the orientation of your craft takes some practice and completing all nine of the levels is quite an achievement. If you are looking for a 3D runner that will really test your skills you should try Rage Runner.

Gameplay: Quick reflexes and some trial-and-error is required, but overall this is an addictive and challenging title.

Graphics: Good, but not too distracting.

Sound: Depends on whether you like dubstep or not

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Rage Runner

Developer: Hypercane Studios | Publisher: Plug In Digital | Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Action / Indie / Racing | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Rage Runner challenges you to strap yourself into the cockpit of a spaceship (called the H-C-S Penetrator apparently) before hurling yourself down a space trench at breakneck speed. The goal is to reach the exit before the timer reaches zero, but the obstacles en route does not make this an easy task.

Whenever the words “space” and” trench” is mentioned in the same sentence, the first thing that springs to mind is usually the Star Wars Death Star trench run. Rage Runner might not require you to shoot proton torpedoes at thermal exhaust ports the size of womp rats, but it is every bit as nerve wracking. Rage Runner is a 3D runner, but unlike many games in the genre which only allows you to move left, right and perhaps jump, here you have to maneuver in all directions. You constantly have to make split second decisions, and due to the speed of the game there is some trial-and-error involved. Memorizing the layouts is usually the only way you will complete the later levels unless you have the reflexes of a praying mantis. Although this may sound frustrating, and as you probably have guessed from the name of the game, it often is, it is also addictive enough that you will constantly find yourself retrying. The fact that each level can be completed in about a minute also ensures that it feels manageable, which is good as there are no checkpoints.

As if the job of weaving your spaceship through obstacles wasn’t tricky enough, you will often encounter sections that are too narrow for your craft to fly through horizontally. Fortunately, you can hold down a button to flip your spaceship vertically, which not only looks cool, but is absolutely required if you want to have any hope of reaching the exit. Constantly having to judge and adjust the correct height, direction and orientation of your spaceship to make it through the obstacles is challenging for sure, but makes you feel pretty accomplished when you complete a level.

Your spaceship only has three speeds, fast, faster and dead stop so don’t think that you will be able to leisurely pick your way through the obstacles. Unless you take the risk of using your afterburners for the more straightforward sections of the trench you had better get used to the feeling of running out of time just as the exit looms in sight. Power modules are scattered at certain points in the trench and it is up to you to decide which power-ups you want to activate with these. Using them as a weapon allows you to destroy an obstacle in your path which is usually easier than avoiding it or if you are feeling particularly lucky you can use a power module to engage a super thrust which propels you forward even faster.

Shields are also an option, but these will only protect you from one minor bump or scrape and not a full on collision. Finally there is the superbrakes which brings you to a dead stop for a few seconds, which might sound counter-productive, but they are absolutely essential for some of the traps that the latter levels love to throw at you. Giving you the power to decide what power-ups you want to use the modules for is a nice touch as it allows each player to develop their own strategy. If you are really good you can use the speed boost to make it to the exit with time to spare which increases your score, while the more aggressive players might opt to blast their way through obstacles. Power modules are scarce though, so don’t think you will be able to rely on them all the time.

Rage Runner was originally an OUYA title, but the developers have clearly put some effort into the PC version of the game. Apart from new models and textures for the majority of the visuals in the game you can also expect to see some real-time lighting to spruce things up. Levels have also been tweaked to play better and you can look forward to an additional level which brings the total to nine. Then of course there are the usual Steam features such as achievements, trading cards and leaderboards to sweeten the deal. Despite all these enhancements the developers have kept the price very low so you will certainly get plenty of value for your money.

While the game is perfectly playable with a keyboard I would strongly suggest using a decent controller if you really want to get the most out of it. Controlling your spaceship with an analogue stick just feels much more natural, but of course that is a personal preference. The soundtrack consists of some Dubstep music which is obviously a very divisive genre. Personally I quite liked it and it suited the flow of the game, but it is a bit annoying that the song restarts each time you retry the level. Speaking of retrying, the game contains a whole database of quotes related to trying which it bombards you with each time you crash so expect to see some words of wisdom from the likes of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

Considering that Rage Runner was created by a two man team the game is quite impressive. The gameplay is rock solid, and while extremely challenging it is addictive enough that you will find yourself attempting just one more go. There might be just nine levels, but don’t expect that you are just going to breeze through them. The developers seem like a dedicated bunch and they are actively encouraging feedback, which bodes well for the future of the game. Not everyone is going to enjoy the fast paced gameplay, especially those with poor reflexes or memorization skills, but action junkies that want to experience the thrill of a high speed trench run should definitely give it a shot.

*Review originally published May 2014.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 7600 GT / HD 2600
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
  • OS: Windows 7/8
  • Processor: 1.5 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 8800 GTS / HD 2900
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: Xbox 360 Gamepad Recommended
  • OS: OS X 10.5 or later
  • Processor: 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia 8800
  • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space
  • OS: OS X 10.5 or later
  • Processor: 2 GHz or faster
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GT 750
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Hard Drive: 300 MB available space

Related posts

Pinball Arcade – Table Pack 1

Pinball Arcade - Table Pack 1

The first table pack contains two tables from Midway, both of which were great for their time. Although the tables have aged a bit, especially The Machine: Bride of Pin Bot, they still hold up very well. Medieval Madness in particular is a very entertaining table that can keep you busy for hours, but Bride of Pin Bot is definitely a lot of fun as well despite some repetition. If you don't have these two tables in your collection yet, you are missing out. Gameplay: Two great new tables from the nineties. Graphics: The tables appear to have been recreated as faithfully as possible. Sound: Nice tunes and plenty of speech samples on both tables.

Cloud Chamber

Cloud Chamber

Cloud Chamber is more of an experience than a game in the traditional sense, but this doesn't make it any less compelling. The story might be fictional, but includes plenty of references to real science which makes for fascinating viewing depending on how keen you are on the subject. Due to the massively multiplayer aspect of the game your experience will depend on the other players, but even if you opt not to take part in the discussions you can still enjoy the story on your own. Gameplay: No gameplay in the traditional sense, but still plenty to see and discuss with other players. Graphics: The videos are believable and the 3D landscapes quite impressive. Sound: Good acting and a brilliant soundtrack help immerse you in the experience.

Pinball Arcade – Tales of the Arabian Nights™

Pinball Arcade - Tales of the Arabian Nights™

Tales of the Arabian Nights might look like a complex table, but it actually has some very easy to grasp rules. Even inexperienced players should have no trouble reaching the wizard mode after putting in some practice, but there is enough variety to keep you coming back for more. This is a very sought after table in real life which makes it even more incredible that this faithful digital version is absolutely free. Gameplay: The table features a great design with easy objectives for beginners. Graphics: A faithful reproduction of a great looking table. Sound: Distinctive audio with some great speech samples and effects.

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Drakensang is one of those games that harkens back to the days of hardcore role playing with a party of characters and an epic quest. While it is great to see something like this in an age where dumbed down console ports are becoming the norm on PC it does require a considerable investment in time and patience from players. A good game, albeit somewhat generic. Gameplay: Definitely aimed at hardcore role playing fans. Graphics: Treads a fine line between colorful and realistic. Sound: The music is OK, but overall audio is average.

Jazzpunk

Jazzpunk

I'll be the first to admit that the humor in Jazzpunk is not going to appeal to everyone, but you only need to check out the trailer to know if you'll enjoy this game. It relentlessly spoofs all kinds of games and movies with gags coming at you thick and fast. There isn't much of a challenge and the game is rather short but apart from that it is brilliant. Gameplay: Open world exploration mixed in with some very humorous mini-games. Graphics: Simple but very charming. Sound: Very fitting.

The Last Dream: Developer’s Edition

The Last Dream: Developer's Edition

The Last Dream is a surreal adventure featuring a man pursuing the ghost of his wife. The game features a unique blend of hand drawn locations and live action cut-scenes while offering mini-games as well as fragmented object scenes to complete. Multiple difficulty settings make this a great title for players of all skill levels and the story, while not very original, is quite engaging. For fans of the genre and players looking for something a bit more unique than a pure hidden object game this title is easy to recommend. Gameplay: A nice blend of classic point & click adventuring, mini-games and fragmented object scenes. Graphics: The hand drawn visuals look great and the game even features live action cut-scenes. Sound: Decent voice acting and appropriate music.

Leave a comment

seventeen + 15 =