Infinity Runner seems unusual upon first hearing the pitch. It’s a game about a prisoner trapped inside a massive spaceship who is suddenly freed one day and seeks to make a run for it. However, this isn’t your everyday criminal — he’s also a werewolf. Yes, it’s patently ridiculous but also kind of cool. How does this runner stand up in comparison with the rest of the genre?
There’s a lot unique here when compared to genre mainstays such as BIT.TRIP RUNNER. In Infinity Runner, players are given a first-person perspective. Everything is seen from the eyes of the prisoner/werewolf sometimes including his naked arms and legs. Still, the basic mechanics of a platformer come into play. Timing is paramount to staying alive, as one wrong move will see you toasted by lasers, falling into the dark void of space, or worse.
According to the plot, spaceship Infinity is the largest ever built. Yet there’s not a ton of variety amongst the seven different sections. Each section contains two levels within it and they regularly boil down to incredibly dark, tight hallways. They’re all interspersed with traps that will either sap bits of health or offer a one-hit kill. Every trap has a trick or two for successfully avoiding it. This might include jumping, sliding, running left or right, or combining actions to stay safe. Infinity Runner starts off by explaining how to handle new obstacles, but a couple are never explained which leads to a little trial and error. In any case, obstacles are not subject to change, so you’re good to go once you master one.
Mainly it is facing actual enemies that tweaks the formula. Stopping them revolves around Quick Time Events which seem semi-randomized. Thankfully, you’re given some breathing room in regards to how long you have to enter a combination. Get one thing wrong and you’ll be sent back to the checkpoint (or fail if all continues have been exhausted). A slight change to this formula comes when in werewolf mode as it is nearly indestructible. As a werewolf, enemies no longer pose a threat and are automatically taken care of. Collectables also inexplicably gravitate toward it as well. Most typical one-hit traps still ensnare werewolves, though.
A handful of modes are included, although none particularly change up the formula. Story mode provides players with a narrative while running through levels while arcade mode challenges them to get the best score. Multiplayer mode is much the same, except that multiple people can play at once. None of them are actually seen, though, so it’s mostly asynchronous fights for leaderboard supremacy.
Beyond the werewolf and first-person perspective concepts, there’s not too much that makes it stand out. Visuals are serviceable, but never get a chance to shine thanks to copious hallway scenes. One special feature is that Infinity Runner can be played with an Oculus Rift. I can’t speak of how the game runs from that perspective without owning the device. Without using VR, the game runs at 60 FPS which is necessary to gameplay. If, for example, your computer can’t quite handle the game, then a lowered FPS seriously hinders the player’s ability to time button presses properly. Again, since the visuals aren’t super intensive, this shouldn’t be a problem for most players with decent PCs.
Infinity Runner has a fun, unique concept that isn’t utilized to the fullest. Dodging obstacles would be more rewarding if the difficulty ramped up alongside story mode. Instead, it reaches a certain level and stays there depending on the initial difficulty selected. There’s simply no urge to keep playing if skill isn’t being tested. The droll sci-fi storyline only goes so far and its runner mechanics have been done better before. Owning an Oculus Rift is the main reason to buy it, as the device is currently lacking in platformers. Still, there are likely better-than-average titles right around the corner.