Voxel Runner

“Foul!” cried the gaming community.  “Someone made an off-brand, generic version of Bit.Trip 2 and released it right before Bit.Trip 2 came out.  A pox on their house!”  You see the same venom directed towards developers of Minecraft clones, or guys like Milkstone when they release cheap XBLIG clones of popular hits like Slender or Binding of Isaac.  The weird thing is, the gaming community seems to treat this phenomenon like it’s exclusive to them.  Um, The Asylum anyone?  Mock if you will, but they’ve made over fifty movies and never once lost money on a production.  They’ve proven that, if profitability is all you desire, clones made without the slightest tinge of shame are the surest fire bet to get there.

Yes.

Yes.

Voxel Runner sounds like it would be The Asylum’s port of a video game, does it not?  None of that coy “Sushi Castle” type of shit like Milkstone does.  “Voxel Runner!  Done!”  The funny thing is, everyone assumed that the game would be shit, myself included.  Timely release.  Blatant clone.  How could it be good?  Surprise, it is good.  Well, good seems maybe too generous.  How does decent sound?  I’ll go with decent.

Actually, Voxel Runner felt more like The Impossible Game, at least to me.  Maybe it was the art style, the pace, the spikes, or the constant deaths.  While the game offers more complex maneuvers (swiped liberally from Bit.Trip Runner) than simply jumping, it just felt like a memory-tester where you have a minimal chance of success on your first run through.  However, I did beat level 22 on my first attempt.  That was the only such level I was able to do that, but it felt fantastic.  It doesn’t matter if I failed 531 other times.  For a few seconds, I was an invincible destroyer of games.

Yes, because "ducking" is one of the most notoriously difficult to master moves in game history.  It makes Zangief's spinning piledriver look like child's play.

Yes, because “ducking” is one of the most notoriously difficult to master moves in game history. It makes Zangief’s spinning piledriver look like child’s play.

This is a weird one to write-up.  Everything about Voxel Runner is decent.  Not great.  Not memorable.  I played this three days ago and I barely remember any critiques I had.  It’s possible I didn’t have any.  Well, there was one: the controls are slightly unresponsive at times, which resulted in about 10% of my total failures.  Otherwise, there’s really not a lot to cover here.  Voxel Runner is a shameless rip-off of a popular franchise, but it doesn’t suck.  If that’s all the developer was trying for, congratulations Captain Ambitious.  Take a seat in the dollar store hall of fame, next to a bin of movies starring Lorenzo Lamas and a can of expired off-brand chicken noodle soup.

xboxboxartVoxel Runner was developed by Dizzy Pixels Ltd.

Seal of Approval Large80 Microsoft Points look forward to future productions from Dizzy Pixels, such as Super Italian Brothers, Sonny the Hedgehog, and Street Brawler II in the making of this review. 

Voxel Runner is Chick Approved.. don’t look at me like that, it doesn’t suck, I swear.. and is ranked on the Indie Gamer Chick LeaderboardSeriously, stop looking at me.

Voxel Runner is also available for Desura for $2.99.  This version is unverified by Indie Gamer Chick.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

9 Responses to Voxel Runner

  1. Eric says:

    I hate this game and The Impossible Game because of their “hold A to jump multiple times in a row mechanic”. I will never get used to that and end up holding the button when I don’t mean to.

    So I guess I wish it was a more faithful Bit Trip Runner rip off instead of a blend of Runner and Impossible Game.

    • Yes, I loathe that mechanic, particularly since it appears in almost every XBLIG platformer. Having said that, Voxel Runner is the one game where it seems to serve a purpose. From very early on, I found that the only way I could make certain rapid series of jumps was by holding the button.

  2. An XBLIG Guy says:

    Even though I’m all against clones, I have to admit that I rather pay 80 msp for an XBLIG clone that $14.99 for the same game but with more colorful graphics. It’s not a stingy decision: I want to support the little guy who stands up against the big corporations with big budgets.

    • craigstern says:

      Gaijin Games is a 6-man team, not a “big corporation.” (See: http://gaijingames.com/team ) Ripping off small indie teams is really not cool, and I won’t support any developer that does it.

      • An XBLIG Guy says:

        I am a one-man team. I have published two 3D games, and I’m going for the third one. Based on this, Gaijin Games has six times more firepower than my own studio. After all, supporting 6 elements for a year is an investment of 1/4 of a million dollars. The way I see it, Gaijin Games is a big corporation, compared to me anyway.

        On the bright side, there is an indie game for iPhone called “Temple Run”. Last year, it was a huge success compared to the story of games like “Angry Birds”. It turns out that big corporations like Disney have published “clones” of this game – just look at “Temple Run Oz”, “Temple Run Brave”, and more.

        Just my two cents ^_^

  3. Peter says:

    Haha … well you certainly made me laugh! Thanks for the (as always) honest review =)

  4. argamae says:

    I found this game utterly unfunny to play. Maybe this is just not my kind of genre. When I want to be punished I turn on the late afternoon TV program. But I certainly don’t want to play a game ’cause that’s when I want to be entertained.

  5. Pingback: On the curiously clone-resistant nature of indie RPGs @ IndieRPGs.com

  6. Pingback: REVIEW: Voxel Runner | the / . / XBLIG

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