A while back I reviewed a game called Escape From Doom, which I noted at the time seemed like an uninspired clone of Pik Pok’s Into the Dead, itself a pretty great little first-person runner. Well, if the former seemed like a step backward from the latter, then the genre has regressed even further with Light Run (out now, free) from Moonstruck Games.

That may seem a bit harsh, but I had a hard time not thinking about Escape From Doom while playing Light Run. They are both free-to-play first-person endless runners which apparently take place in Egyptian-style temples. The main difference is that Light Run just has… less. No enemies, weapons, missions, different areas, etc. In fact, it almost seems like it could be an early, bare-bones prototype of Escape.

screen480x480To control the game, you swipe left and right to move between three lanes, with the object being to collect orbs of light and avoid smashing into walls. You also have to hop over ledges and duck under planks of wood in doorways by swiping up and down, respectively. The swiping feels kind of clunky and doesn’t respond well when doing more than one or two in quick succession. Worst of all is the ducking, which doesn’t even animate the process of  ducking down. You are just instantly down, and then instantly back up again. It’s weird.

Nearly every other aspect of the game has a similar lack of polish. All of the shapes and textures of walls and other objects just repeat over and over with no variation. Tutorial text telling you how to play the game is displayed at the top of the screen during every single run. The ceiling is just an empty sheet of black. There is a button for leaderboards, but when you tap it, it takes you to a Facebook page that provides you with an error message saying the developers haven’t set that feature up yet. The whole experience just feels several degrees undercooked.

iFanzine Verdict: Light Run by Moonstruck Games is an endless runner that might have seemed neat if it hadn’t been beaten to the punch by dozens (if not hundreds, at this point) of other games that do what it tries to do much better. It feels unambitious, uninspired, and unfinished. I could almost recommend it for how stripped back and “pure” it is, but it’s too clunky even for that. On the other hand, it’s free, so I guess if you need more Egyptian-themed first-person endless runners in your life, give it a whirl.