Do you have space in your heart for another 3D endless runner game? I sure hope so, because even though the genre’s starting to feel more than a little overdone, Comicorp’s pulp sci-fi inspired Rocklien Run (out now, free) boasts enough vitality and innovation to help it stand out from the crowd and make it a whole lot of exhilarating fun.

Rather than being a straightforward Temple Run/Subway Surfers type deal, Rocklien Run plays more like a hybrid of a lane-based endless runner and an arcade shooter. In it, you take control of a space ship that’s barrelling at warp speed through a deadly, alien-infested asteroid field. Your mission: Survive for as long as possible by tactfully dodging chunks of cosmic debris and blasting incoming enemies.

Rocklien Run’s controls are simple and responsive. Your ship accelerates automatically, and you tap on the left or right of the screen to veer it in that direction. You can also swipe in either direction to perform a rapid barrel roll, which is handy for avoiding collisions and snagging the star-shaped power-ups that litter the track. It can take quite a few deaths to get into the game’s unique rhythm and learn how the various power-ups and enemies work, but once you do, it’s an incredibly satisfying blast.

If the exciting and challenging gameplay isn’t enough to keep you wanting to come back for more, Rocklien Run also features a Game Center-powered leaderboard and 20 upgradable ships (each weirder than the last) for you to work on unlocking. And before you ask, despite being free-to-play, the game is refreshingly laid back about trying to get you to make in-app purchases or watch video ads.

Verdict

Rocklien Run is an exhilarating and action-packed 3D endless runner/shooter hybrid that boasts a fun pulp sci-fi feel and tons of unlockable content. Highly recommended to anyone who’s not afraid of a challenge.

Positives
Fun pulp sci-fi inspired look and feel
Action-packed gameplay that will appeal to fans of endless runners and shoot 'em-ups alike
Lots of unlockables and upgradables
No pushy IAPs or ads
Negatives
The frantic pace and punishing difficulty may turn off some players
4
Great
Download on the App Store