I have never made secret my love for Mirror’s Edge, I wrote an entire love letter to it here. It may seem like a bit of a faux pas to start a review for one game by talking about a love of another but for me it’s like telling your friends that your girlfriend/boyfriend looks like Mylene Klass/ David Tennant, the comparison is more praise than anything else you can give. Endless Road is close to aesthetic perfection as Mirror’s Edge.
Endless Road, as the title implies, is an endless runner with a car instead of feet. You’re in a car just trying to survive as long as you can, much like motor way driving. And like motor way driving you are limited to three lanes.
Simple controls mean that if you press on the left side of the screen your little chug along car moves left a lane and pressing right moves you right. This game takes a classic Atari or Amiga isometric view as you drive down the road, this is where the game jumps from a “meh” endless runner to a game everyone should try.
Design in games is hard, being original on a platform that is full of clones is a Herculean task to undertake. Endless Road combines simple gameplay with a simple design to produce something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whilst driving along you are treated to a world of white minimalist buildings with the occasional splash of red for a bridge or your car. The other design choice that this game excels at is the production of the world. The road appears in block form from below almost like a conveyor belt and the world falls away after it passes you. This leads to an interesting mechanic where the game has you try to maintain a speed of 80 Mph, if you go to fast you’ll fall off the front of the world and if you go too slow you’ll drop off the back. It’s almost as if it’s an alternative history where no one thought the world was round. To gain speed the driver must hit boosts on the road, but hit too many and you’ll struggle to stay on, as such there are pads that slow the car down. This speed maintenance is complicated at first and it’s not the only thing working against you, other cars on the road seem to aim for the side of your vehicle and later areas seem designed just to make you fail.
With the design put to one side this game is still worth buying. It manages to have a soundtrack that doesn’t grate your soul and for a pick up and play title it just works. It doesn’t have the same kind of “fun” as say Jet Pack Joyride but it’s simplicity is a selling point and not a downfall. Too few games are willing to try something different and games like Endless Road should be commended for doing this.
+Colours, shapes, design are all perfect
+Simple to understand and play until…
-Difficulty seems to swerve too high