Parkour Roof Riders

Posted by Dan Mousavi On April - 15 - 2010

Parkour Roof Riders is a straight Canabalt clone without even a hint of innovation and some ridiculous gameplay choices.
You play Jesus who has become a skating thief with a walking disorder, that masquerades as a parkourist.

He skips across rooftops without ever touching the ground and jumps from roof to roof, because I guess that’s all that you do in parkour in the developers mind. You do this for a fixed length, after you reach a green flag at the end of the level, you can try to beat the level again and then enter your highscore that’s not based on time, but distance in a fixed length race. Imagine Usain Bolt in the Olympics, racing for 100m in world record time and then everyone gets gold, because they all ran the same distance. That’s exactly how you should keep scores, fair game and all…

I’m sorry, let’s start this review again without personal feelings, I just got a little angry because I don’t like it, when people try to capitalize on others ideas in a setting that they absolutely don’t get, but chose because it could sell well, if done right.

The game isn’t really bad, it has a nice presentation, the visuals are drawn clear and it has a nice parallax scrolling background, that changes the time of day based on the difficulty level. The parkourist itself would pass, if the animation speed and the walking cycle would be fixed and if he would touch the ground while running, he always hovers a little and only touches ground, when he rolls up from a high jump. The gameplay is fine, it is nearly a 1:1 clone of the first version of Canabalt, without collapsing buildings.

Since I love Canabalt, I spent more time playing this game then I thought after starting it up the first time, because it just sucks you in and the fixed goal is kind of nice, you really want to reach it again every time you start to play. But I really had to laugh at the highscore table, why would there even be a highscore, if it is not based on time, but distance in a race? That’s game design 101 and shouldn’t have been in there. The Highcore table also doesn’t save your name, you have to re-enter it after every try.
There are 3 difficulty modes and an endless mode.
They all are nearly the same with different scrolling speed, on easy there are a few basketballs and boxes lying around, on medium there’s sometimes a cat and a plane flies above you, that sometimes drop a box in your way and on hard, there are also dumpsters standing around. They all just slow you down, nothing kills you except falling down, that’s actually kinda nice, because you can nearly always recover with a few good jumps. But there’s not much else to do after you beat the game, sure, you now have the infinite mode where the highscore actually makes sense, but it would be so easy to come up with some own ideas, especially if you have parkour in the title.

In the beginning I thought that the best thing I can say about this game is, that they wrote parkour right, but since the gameplay is still fun and the presentation is acceptable for a a cheap game like this, I can recommend the demo to everyone for a quick gaming fix, if you are a real fan of this kind of games, you don’t do anything wrong with buying this game, just don’t expect anything new. But if you are not in a hurry, I would recommend you wait until Flash is released and play the better original for free then.

Android Market Link