The term "endless runner," as it relates to iOS games, is a fairly vague one. It can describe games like Ninjatown: Trees of Doom that have you climbing higher and higher into the trees, or it can describe something like Temple Run, that has you running away from your screen. While themes and even overall game design can vary, each game's overall goal is the same: survive. In Rollerhog, this is one experience that sees you rolling and bouncing from left to right for as long as you can to survive while avoiding colorful flowers, rabbits, spiders and more, with crazy (read: awesome) graphics accompanying you on each run.
Your character(s) in Rollerhog are small balls of colorful fur that have one purpose: to roll from left to right, and they'll do so automatically regardless of the obstacles in their path. It's up to you to use gesture based controls to eliminate these dangers, swiping up to remove spiders, swiping across to cut flower stems, and swiping down to eliminate moles or rabbits, as examples. As you progress through a single game, the pace becomes faster and more enemies are thrown into your path, but luckily, you'll have a health meter that allows for multiple mistakes before you'll actually fail altogether. Furthermore, small birds will appear in the sky that, when tapped upon, will drop pieces of food for Rollerhog to eat, restoring some of that health.
Your success is determined by the amount of points you score, rather than in a measurable distance in meters, so you'll also be able to pick up pieces of candy by bouncing off of mushrooms or enemies into the sky to collect them. As you collect points, you'll fill a "HyperComboBar," which makes the game even crazier than before with bright pink, strobing graphics that are reminiscent of console video games like Katamari Damacy. If the graphics alone were the only positive quality of Rollerhog, the game would be worth its free price of admission (the game was originally released for $0.99), but the gameplay is actually really fun, relying more on reflexes than on luck, which is the way it should be. If you fail, it's very likely you'll only have yourself to blame, which works to push you right into the next game to improve your own score.
While there are different Rollerhogs to unlock by performing well within the game, there's unfortunately no overall store system as seen in many other endless runners. Without power-ups and the like, the gameplay really does just come down to earning as many points as possible, so it would have been nice to see more depth added to the experience. Still, Rollerhog is a fun and incredibly cute title that is worth having on your device of choice.
Click here to download Rollerhog on iTunes --->
Have you tried Rollerhog? What do you think of this colorful, whacky take on the endless runner genre? Sound off in the comments!