No Pain, No Gain
It’s likely that at the brainstorming session for this game, some clever clogs piped up with the undeniably inspired suggestion, “Hey, guys, why don’t we fuse Canabalt with Lemmings? That could be kind of cool…” Well, 10tons Ltd did. And the result, Grim Joggers, is not only very cool, but also represents a novel new twist on the endless running schtick that’s guaranteed keep you glued to your iDevice for many a merry hour, repeatedly trying to beat your best score and grinning from ear to ear at the game’s warped brand of sardonic ultra-violence.
While, at this stage of the game, it might be getting a bit tough to be enthused by yet another title that appears to follow the done to death Canabalt/Monster Dash formula, and, granted, Grim Joggers isn’t going to win (m)any awards for originality, its unique selling point – the fact that rather than controlling a solitary protagonist, you’re simultaneously in command of over a dozen characters as they race through sidescrolling stages fraught with all manner of dangers – is a neat idea, and has been executed extremely well.
In the same vein as any endless running/platform game you care to mention, each of Grim Joggers’ levels challenges you to keep your character(s) alive for as long as possible while they automatically traverse environments by frantically tapping the screen to leap across gaping chasms and over other obstacles. As you progress, your joggers are picked off in cruel and inventive fashion by a fiendish array of deathtraps and enemies (one steps on a landmine and gets blown to bloody chunks…another is gored to death by a polar bear or man-eating plant…a couple more run face first into a wall of spikes, and so and so forth) until each and every one has been eviscerated and it’s game over, dude!
Now, those inventive death scenes aside, the above paragraph probably doesn’t make Grim Joggers’ gameplay sound all that fresh or exciting. But, trust me, far from being just a gimmick, the Lemmings-esque slant actually introduces the need for a good deal of quick thinking and on-the-fly strategizing on the player’s part.
While you only really have direct influence over the leader of the pack and the rest of the runners blithely ape his every move, you must still take into account all of your cohorts when timing jumps or dodging obstacles because, be warned, as the game picks up pace, the slightest wrong move or lapse in judgement can have deadly consequences for the rest of the team! Thus making it as far as the checkpoint in each level that unlocks the subsequent world is a frantic workout for your fingers that will push your wits and reactions to their limit. In addition to its inherent beat-your-best-score appeal, Grim Joggers is also kitted out with a range of Game Center extras like leaderboards and achievements.
Seriously addictive gameplay, authentically retro, SNES-style graphics, a macabre sense of humor, and the promise of plenty of new worlds and traps in future updates all aid Grim Joggers in sprinting well ahead of the rest of the endless platforming pack.
iFanzine Verdict: Loved Lemmings? Couldn’t put Canabalt down? 10tons’ outrageously funny and absurdly addictive Grim Joggers is pretty much guaranteed to be your new favorite game!