RunGunJumpGun is one of the best autorunners since Canabalt

Dead again.

How many things can you remember at once? I know the answer when it comes to me! It's two. I can remember two things at the same time, and I can just about switch between them if I absolutely have to.

This is bad news for me, because the actual number of things you're meant to be able to remember is something like seven (+/-two). I say it's something like that, because I've forgotten. That said, it's also good news for me, because it means I can just about play RunGunJumpGun, a 2D autorunner game in which you have two controls: you can shoot your gun downwards to give you some lift, and you can shoot it forwards to blow up things that are ahead of you.

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Ulp! And it's bad news for me again, because to play RunGunJumpGun well, you really need to be able to remember three things. It's not enough to simply survive - to eke out a kind of life by leaping over spikes, but not so high that you leap up into different spikes, and by blasting away at barrels that would otherwise leave you squished on geometry. To really thrive in RunGunJumpGun, you need to collect the little doodads scattered around each level, often in hard-to-reach places. (I have, of course, forgotten what these doodads are called.)

All of which, thrown together, makes RunGunJumpGun an absolute delight to play: endless drama, frustration and self-hatred that I haven't really known since the glory days of Canabalt. The endless runner has never gone away, of course - Nintendo's just announced its own - and there are many I've loved since Canabalt, but RunGunJumpGun is special. It's suitably lurid with migrainey colour schemes and a bizarre comic sci fi plot. It's suitably brutal, too, punishing me ceaselessly because it knows it can also offer me a near-instant restart. Mainly, though, it's special because it gives me just too much to think about, so when I play it I am at war not just with the game, but with myself. Bravo.

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About the author

Christian Donlan

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.

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