Remember Vectrex? The ancient MB Games machine had vector based line graphics that, with a little help from a screen overlay, made for attractive games that could run in pseudo 3D smoothly and with surprising speed and quite complex geometry, especially considering the competition at the time.
For anyone that played or owned one of these old consoles, seeing any modern game with a similar look and feel will bring back a lot of nostalgic memories. Geometry Wars is probably the most prominent recent game with a Vectrex feel to the graphics, but there have been quite a few over the years.
Palm’s webOS platform has played host to a recent game, Tanks, that employed vector graphics, with great success, and now we have another one, Vector Runner.
Originally an online game, Vector Runner is basically a racing game where you race along a track, dodging and weaving your way around various obstacles.
Your vehicle is just a little cube, and touching to the left or right of the screen turns the craft in the direction you pressed.
The ship automatically increases in speed as you go along, unless you hit an object. Hit too many and its game over.
There are various obstacles to avoid, such as trees and mines, and also different power-ups to collect, which include points, shield generators and the rather excellent invincibility pickup that transforms the screen in a white blur for a short amount of time.
The music is excellent, as are the graphics that, even on a Pixi, run really smoothly, even when you are going at breakneck speed and there are dozens of things flying at the screen.
The game controls pretty well and the screen is pretty responsive, but it does have a tendency to stick in one direction or another from time to time, which while not quite a game breaker, can be pretty annoying.
The major fault with the game is a lack of modes and options, and although there are Twitter and Facebook buttons, they just take you to the developers respective pages. The ability to post Twitter and Facebook scores would have been excellent, and has to go down as a big missed opportunity.
It plays really well and is a lot of fun, and can be pretty addictive, which combined with the great vector graphics and soundtrack, makes for a promising retro themed racing game. It’s just a shame that the lack of modes and options aren’t there to extend what is a fun but limited experience.