Gunner Runner by Ghostbox is is the latest in the growing number of run-and-gun games that are hitting mobile devices. Gun Runner however takes a different approach compared to many of its contemporaries, and as such has some great plus points but is also flawed in one particular area. Games such as Gun Runner offer a casual gaming experience that will pass the hours away, there’s nothing taxing for the brain, and are pure arcade fun.
Gunner Runner has you trying to defend your heroine as she runs towards your gunship. You control her by tilting the device either left or right, allowing her to avoid obstacles or pick up coins which allow you to buy new weapons and accessories. While also controlling your player, you also have to tap the screen to shoot the many enemies that are determined to catch your player. These enemies come in numerous forms, from your standard soldier, to bonus soldiers who when shot give you more points. There are also enemy aircraft along the way who do their best to capture your player before she reaches the helicopter.
There are destructible objects on your journey, and when these are shot they cause a huge explosion, taking out any nearby enemies with it. It’s quite rewarding to know that with a single shot you can do so much damage. War really has never been so much fun in a run-and-gunner.
The one flaw the game has though is its primary mechanic. Your player is running towards you, while chased by the enemies, in order to shoot them you have to tap the screen. It can become very hectic, however because your hands are over the screen tapping the enemies, the play-area is almost entirely obstructed. You’ll find yourself moving your arms in all shapes in order to see what is actually going on in the game, and it’s a shame, because underneath it all is potentially a brilliant game.
The graphical style is very reminiscent of Major Mayhem, and that is no bad thing. The characters and animations are all done very well, and the color scheme is perfect for the game, invoking a feel of war and carnage. Explosions look suitably cartoonish, and well animated, and the huge cartoon-style bullets look the part in the whole context of the game.
The landscape changes as it’s run through, with a mixture of forests and swaps combines with running inside buildings of various type. Unfortunately as mentioned, a lot of this gorgeous graphical style is lost because your hand is over the action, which is a real shame because the game really does look very nice.
There is a suitable war-inspired theme tune that plays on the menu screen, plus typical war sound effects of bullets and explosions. The sound perfectly fits the game’s atmosphere, and enhances the whole gaming experience.
Gunner Runner is a clever twist on a formula which is becoming quite over-crowded, yet still hugely fun. If you could see the graphics all the time then you would see that they are well drawn and a lot of fun. The game was tested on an iPad, so this flaw may be even greater on an iPhone, however don’t let that detract you from what is really a good game that has some cool moments of action.
Gunner Runner has that one-more-go appeal, and can be played by people of all ages. If you stick with it, Gun Runner can be a lot of fun, and with the option to buy items with the coins you collect, there is a lot to unlock within the game.