4 Simple Reasons Why Endless Runners Are Staples In Mobile Gaming

Not all gaming platforms were created equal. No, we’re not talking about hardware power, which seems to be a sensitive topic among console and PC gamers. We are talking about the games that seem like they were specifically made for a gaming platform only. For example, top-down real-time strategy games and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games are meant for PC. FPS games are better played on Xbox One than on PS4 due to its controller, which features an analog stick as its d-pad. The Nintendo DS and 3DS are great for classic turn-based RPGs, thanks to the dual screens that allow better menu navigation. And then there are endless runners, which seem like they were heaven-sent for mobiles.

Action games with auto-running characters were around before mobile gaming became an acceptable category of gaming. One of the most easily recognized in the ’90s were the PlayStation games Pepsiman and Crash Bandicoot (which is still popular to this day). You could say endless runners evolved from those games. Canabalt is seen by many as the one that popularized the modern endless runner genre in mobiles. But what exactly makes endless runners staples in today’s mobile gaming scene? Here are 4 reasons.

1. Controls Aren’t Complicated

Some games make you feel like a 10- button controller isn’t enough to cover all input. Even with a custom controller with two or more extra buttons that can be custom-mapped feels inadequate when playing action-RPGs and FPS games. On the other hand, some games feature so little controls that a one-button controller would suffice. Endless runners, which feature auto-running characters, belong in the latter category.

There are usually two types of endless runners: 1) endless runners where your character runs toward the top edge of your smartphone, with the environment zooming past you vertically, and 2) endless runners where your character runs from the left side of the screen to the right on a horizontal plane. Though they are basically the same, there are certain differences that set them apart. The former requires you to typically use touchscreen swipes to control your character’s actions: Swipe left or right to move to the left or right side of the screen to avoid obstacles. Swipe upward to perform a jump and swipe downward to do a slide. Some endless runners don’t even feature jumping or sliding actions, making the controls even easier that they already are. And let’s not forget those where controls are based on your smartphone’s gyroscope. Those are made for lazy people who want to play games with little to no effort. Read More

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