Running, in an endless runner sort of way, is probably hard enough, but can you do that while trying to fight your way against shadowy monstrosities? That is exactly what game developer BulkyPix wants you to find out in its latest title Dark Lands.
There isn't much story in Dark Lands, unless you go for the Adventure mode, in which case you'll have to fork over some cash to buy a ticket inside. As the name suggests, Dark Lands is a game set in a very dark land. So dark that all the creatures you'll see are portrayed as shadows. And that includes you. In terms of artwork, the game is rather simplistic in that sense, going for minimalism rather than barraging your eyes with realistic 3D models. You do have layers of shadows, yes shadows again, that employ some amount of parallax scrolling to give off an illusion of scale. But all in all, the graphics can be best described as plain. Simple, but plain. That might actually be a good thing, as it keeps you from getting distracted from the task at hand, which, as in any endless runner game, is survival. But instead of just jumping or sliding around, avoiding traps and collecting bonuses, you have other obstacles in your way. Ones that move and would like to stab or slice you to bits. The good news is that you can strike back. You can also block, if the need arises.
Dark Lands offers some variation to your usual endless runner games. For one, unlike most such games, you can actually stop running, by pressing your fingers on two separate points. Actually, you automatically stop running whenever you're faced with enemies. The enemies are also a bit amusing even if the AI for them are quite bland. It's funny to push them towards traps and watch them die, proving that the traps are no one's friends. You can actually even jump past some enemies should you choose to do so, though you'll most likely be missing out on some points. Some enemies are just impossible to ignore, even with your super double jumping skills. The good news is that, again unlike most endless runners, you don't immediately die when you run into a trap that slices you up. Uncharacteristically, you have a health bar that helps prolong the fun, or the agony, of the game. Oh, and you can level up your character and equip him, yet it's a him, with stronger and better armor or weapons. This is definitely not your grandfather's endless runner.
Dark Lands is an amusing but definitely challenging spin on the seemingly endless stream of endless runners. It is simple and easy on the eyes, but those looking for more captivating visuals should probably look elsewhere. The game is free from Google Play Store, but if you want a deeper experience with the game, you'll have to make the one-time in-app purchase to unlock its Adventure Mode. Not that surprising but always a disappointing limitation.