Robert Hornbek

Game Development & Exploration

Posts Tagged ‘Canabalt’

The Power of Simplicity

Posted by rHornbek on December 22, 2009

Almost as fast as my friend Ari linked this game to me I was blown away!  Canabalt, by Adam Atomic and Danny B, is just about as simple as it gets when it comes to gameplay, but the game is done incredibly well.  When the game begins the user’s character begins running to the right, from what you are not sure but clearly there is something rather chaotic going on.

Click to play Canabalt!

All the user’s character can do is jump, so the challenge comes from timing the jumps appropriately and making sure they are high or low enough to clear the oncoming obstacles.  It appears the entire goal of the game is to run as far as you can before falling off the buildings.  Once you fall you are shown your distance traveled and the game starts over.  That is about it.

From the image above you can see that the graphics are nothing amazing, but the style, animation and use of monotone colors is mostly flawless.  Another thing to add is the music that plays as the stage progresses, its upbeat but dramatic additionally emphasizing the fast pace setting.  In the background you can also see silhouettes of various machines towering over the city.  What these are I can only guess, but it comes off really cool!

The frame rate gets a little choppy as the game picks up speed, but I think this has largely to do with the computer I am playing it on.  Aside from this the game is casually fun but really well done.  It always impresses me when someone produces such a solid yet simple product.


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