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27 November, 2014

Dungeon Runner: Fitness Quest Review - The Fat Free RPG

Remember Zombies, Run! The audio-based fitness game that immersed you in a post-apocalyptic world, where your progress counted on how many steps you could rack up? Well the guys at Six to Start are merging the world of fitness fanatics and the mobile game scene once again with a new title, Dungeon Runner: Fitness Quest. As its title suggests, it takes aim at another corner of the gaming world - the classic 8-bit dungeon crawler.

To get started, you prop your phone up so the Facetime camera, and the screen, are facing you. Immediately you are asked to start running, and when you do, the on-screen pixel knight follows your lead and begins his adventure. You come across a small handful of barriers to begin with, such as closed gates, breakable pots (classic) and floor spikes. Each of these obstacles requires you to perform one of many workouts to proceed e.g. do squats to lift the gate, or star jumps to vault over the spikes. After a few of these smaller obstacles you’re faced with an enemy of some type, who must be punched until their health bar is drained, but if you’re a little bit spent and take too long, you’ll be struck and lose a heart. It’s kind of like a virtual obstacle course of sorts, without all the mud, neon tights and judgmental eyes.

Of course, the Facetime camera doesn’t have the same capacity to track your movements as the Kinect, and if you’re lazy enough you can just sit in your desk chair waving your hand at the camera while you fend off demons. But ‘winning’ the game isn’t really the point, is it? Sure you can sit there and complete every level while flailing your arms like a maniac, endangering those close to you, but there’s no real reward for trying to convince yourself that you’re smarter than a machine. Dungeon Runner: Fitness Quest is simply a workout companion, and quite a neat one at that. It’s also the kind of game that youngsters fuelled by their weight in red frogs go bananas for and could offer a healthy alternative for a rainy day inside.

Dungeon Runner: Fitness Quest serves its purpose well, though that's about all it does. There are five worlds each littered with the same pitfalls and baddies, the only difference being that the length is extended each time you advance. And the enemy characters reaction time is so slow, even in the final level, that you're never really in any danger of losing a heart. And even if you do happen to lose half a heart from an enemy attack, you usually collect a full heart after defeating them anyway. It's nearly impossible to screw up a perfect run. It's a tad lazy, even for a game that you can ‘GET’ or a ‘GET game’ – is that what we’re calling it now?

Grab the game here.

Brodie Fogg

     - Dungeon Runner
     - Zombies, Run!

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