Release Date: February 8th, 2018 (Nintendo Switch)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Any form of an “automatic runner” I typically avoid. I’ve played several over the years and just never found one that held my interest for more than a few minutes with their limited gameplay. Yet there are still some out there that manage to do it right and ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun keeps itself above the garbage below. It mixes a slight tweak to the existing formula and packages it with a slick presentation for something that isn’t your average runner.
In the game you are a scavenger with a big gun who is out to grab all of the glowing atomiks in each of the mini levels, because why not? The game is an automatic runner, so you only have to worry about two buttons, one to fire your gun straight ahead, the other to fire your gun against the floor for the “jumping” portion, which acts like a hover pack. Beyond having the regular obstacles and spikes to avoid, you also will have to use your gun to destroy guns and enemies that want to take you down.
Each level is only under a minute long, assuming you don’t die that is. You can take two hits before being rewinded back to the start of the level to try again. You’ll most likely need the two hits to survive since the game gets pretty brutal, especially if you are trying to collect all of the atomiks. Luckily for anyone who finds it to challenging to collect all of the atomiks, you still can advance and unlock new worlds even if you don’t 100% everything. At the same time for those who want to collect everything, godspeed and good luck because it will be both frustrating and rewarding getting them all.
Your gun is what really makes the difference to the gameplay since it mixes up the running to become something unique. The presentation is really what drew us in from the start, with a real 80’s vibe of neon coloring and retro graphics. The story is just barely there, but before each level you’ll hear from one of the games various characters watching you collect the atomiks and they’re all of the wall remarks that will make you chuckle. The synthesized soundtrack tacks on that last little extra layer of charm to really make it feel like your playing something old school.
Even those like me,who are not big fans of runner games, will find something a little different here to catch your attention. It keeps a simplistic approach but also gives you a challenge that will have you surely cursing your Switch. Smartly it gives you the option to still be able to progress even if that level of a challenge isn’t quite for you. ATOMIK: RunGunJumpGun comes together to deserve a look, and you might come away surprised as I was.