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MTBlogBot2000
18th November 2009, 12:34 PM
<h3>This week we look at Little Runner, a platform game with moving blocks and crushing rocks, and C64, a game that has enjoyed numerous rejections on the App Store but is finally available again.</h3>
<h4>Little Runner</h4>
<img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-3724" title="Little Runner 1" src="http://www.mactalk.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/wr.png" alt="Little Runner 1" width="384" height="256" />

<em>Little Runner</em> is a simple platform game for the iPhone. The objective? Move a bunch of platforms that appear as you jog along at varying heights into place to allow your character (the 'little runner') to progress through the levels. As you jog further and further, it obviously becomes more and more difficult to continue. In subsequent levels, you're required to crush rocks, blow out fire, nail logs into the ground and slash bamboo sticks. If you can make it past the first two or three levels, <em>Little Runner</em> also becomes much more interesting and exciting. There's no indication as to how many levels there are in the game, but there are enough (at least in my opinion) to last at least a few weeks of casual gaming.

The biggest problem with <em>Little Runner</em>? It took a total of forty-three seconds to start the game (and that's <span style="text-decoration: underline;">after</span> a restart from installation). I admit that I'm using an iPhone <strong>3G</strong>, but that isn't really an excuse. Sure, it'll take a little longer to load without the added <em>speeeeediness</em> of the 3G<strong>S</strong> on any game, but remember that I am using a phone that Apple still sells today. So, the very fact that it took just about three quarters of a minute to load one game is disappointing in itself. I also found the controls to be way too sensitive and sometimes just plain wonky.

Overall, I'm not totally impressed with <em>Little Runner</em>. The concept is kind of intriguing, but the execution lets it down beyond the point of praise. Slow controls have made this an unenjoyable game that feels ridiculously underdone. Actually, it almost feels like a Flash game converted to the iPhone's OS using Adobe's <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/10/iphone-flash/">new software</a> introduced a little while ago (it'll be interesting to see how those games and apps turn out too). I have faith in <em>Little Runner's</em> developers to improve the game in subsequent updates, but for now, I just can't recommend it to potential buyers.

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<h4>C64</h4>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Reviewed by <em><a href="http://forums.mactalk.com.au/member/mechcon.html">David Kudrev</a></em></p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0855/web.jpg?ver=12580229750001" alt="" width="320" height="480" /></p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Ah yes, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_64">Commodore 64</a>. Ask any gamer from the good old days what home computer was talked about the most in the 80ís and even 90ís, and most would say ďCommodore 64Ē. Having only played the C64 (as it will be called for the rest of the review) in primary school, It sadly wasnít enough to experience the whole feel that the C64 was trying to push, I did get to play Spy VS Spy 2 and Cave of Word Wizard, which reminded me a lot of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Boy_and_His_Blob:_Trouble_on_Blobolonia">The Boy and his Blob</a>.</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Iím very pleased to not only review what could well be one of the finest emulators to embrace the iPhone platform, but also to finally own it. I say that because this application has gone through a fair few approvals/removals due to the controversial nature of the App Store. Finally the C64 app is here to stay and at the price offered, itís great value! At release of this app, you get the following 8 games included;</p>

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0856/web.jpg?ver=12580229730001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
Arctic Shipwreck: Balance a block of ice with a mammoth, and keep the stranded folk from slipping off the ice.

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0858/web.jpg?ver=12580229610001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
Dragonís Den: As a noble knight, you must fight your way through enemies to defeat the dragons. (or at least thatís what it looks like it to be, either way, it reminds me of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joust_(video_game)">Joust</a>).

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0861/web.jpg?ver=12580229660001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
International Basketball: Ummm.. itís Basketball!

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0862/web.jpg?ver=12580229710001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
International Soccer: Oh come on, really? itís Soccer!

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0863/web.jpg?ver=12580229800001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
International Tennis: Iíll let you guess what this is about..

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0864/web.jpg?ver=12580232510001" alt="" width="480" height="320" />
Before I forget, I should mention also that if you flip the phone sideways in-game, the perspective changes as well for a more full screen effect.

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0865/web.jpg?ver=12580229640001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
Jack Attack: You play as a cute little red alien, move the blocks around to squish the enemies.
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0866/web.jpg?ver=12580229820001" alt="" width="320" height="480" /></p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Jupiter Lander: land your lander at the right speed and angle to get as many points possible.</p>

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://gallery.me.com/david.kudrev/100220/IMG_0870/web.jpg?ver=12580229680001" alt="" width="320" height="480" />
Lemans: overhead grand prix racing game
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Thankfully the C64 had basic controls (8-way joystick and one button labelled as ďfireĒ), so controlling the games on the iPhone is just a simple two thumb factor. The games included give an extraordinary feel of gaming on the home computer back in the day, and with the in-app purchasing feature with 3.0 SDK of the iPhone platform, this means you will be able to buy and download more C64 games for this application. Manomio has announced that they are going to be releasing more titles within the C64 app VERY soon! Hereís what to expect in the next update:</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><img style="max-width: 100%; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 8px; margin-left: auto; display: block; border: 3px solid #000000;" src="http://img.skitch.com/20091112-n7whf8bxf2a3dcs6grw15f9yf9.jpg" alt="" width="526" height="314" /></p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Folks, this comes highly recommended from myself. Well worth the price considering the amount of games included, and the many more coming in the future. Keep checking <a href="http://www.manomio.com/">Manomio.com</a> or on their <a href="http://www.twitter.com/manomio">Twitter</a> page for more updates of the C64 app.</p>

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Pros
- Keeps the nostalgic feel, yet keeping a modern feel at the same time for a modern gaming platform
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">- In-app purchasing game packs</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">- Simple controls</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">Cons</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">- That I didnít get to play enough C64 games in the past</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">- Controls can be a bit slightly irksome (but I was told thatís how they were in the day, so thanks to the veteran C64 gamers)</p>
<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;">4.5 out of 5</p>

<p style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 10px; padding-left: 0px; margin: 0px;"><strong>Version reviewed:</strong> 1.1
<strong>Price:</strong> $5.99
<strong>Developer: </strong>Manomio<a style="color: #e6324b; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none;" href="http://manomio.com/">
</a><strong><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/c64/id305504539?mt=8">App Store</a></strong>
<h4 style="font-family: MyriadPro-Semibold, 'Myriad Pro Semibold', 'Myriad Pro', Myriad, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 18px; line-height: 18px; margin-bottom: 9px; margin-top: 18px;">Hey MacTalk! Please feel free to suggest future iPhone app reviews over at the <a style="color: #2984a7; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial;" href="http://forums.mactalk.com.au/members/remy.html">Forums</a>, or contact me on <a style="color: #2984a7; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none; outline-width: 0px; outline-style: initial; outline-color: initial;" onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outbound/article/twitter.com');" href="http://twitter.com/remynuma">Twitter</a>.</h4>