Ever wondered what it felt like being a 7-foot tall man with shoulders the size of bowling balls ploughing through hundreds and hundreds of walls, rocks and robots at breakneck speed?
Well with Techtonic Games’ Bust-N-Rush for the PC you can.
This little company from Santa Barbara, California USA has created quite a gem here, adopting the 3D runner style gameplay you would usually find on tablets or mobile phones. These types of games are dangerously addictive, making the player want to beat a previously-achieved score or collect that item you persistently continue to miss.
There is a faint storyline in place here, involving the player-controlled character, Kovo, who once used his brute strength and blinding speed to mine his home world, Thurl. Kovo has since settled down along with his pal, a plastic flamingo ornament named Paco and they live their lives in peace under ground whilst on the surface of Thurl rules the evil Satellite of Wub. One day whilst searching the tunnels for Kovo and Paco, the Satellite of Wub discovers and destroys Paco in an attempt to lure Kovo out of hiding. The plan works, however not as it was planned. Kovo is one ticked-off man and will stop at nothing to avenge the demise of his plastic pal, and so the quest begins. The story is only vaguely told in a cinematic shown at the immediate starting up of the game and is nowhere else to be found throughout. And with a mediocre and outrageous story such as this, it soon leaves the players mind.
Bust-N-Rush takes on a 3D cartoony cell-shading graphical style with objects emitting different coloured outlines corresponding between smashable, unsmashable and collectable objects. Smashable are outlined blue, unsmashable red and pickups are yellow. The visuals are beautiful with the settings cranked up giving Kovo a menacing look as he goes on his rampage and the stages are sharply detailed whether it’s underground or surface levels. You do however need a remarkably powerful PC for it to be able to handle the gorgeous graphics and the onscreen action as things get hectic, quickly resulting in annoying frame rate drops if playing on a substandard PC.
This game is reminiscent of popular mobile phone title Temple Run. The main premise of the game requires the player to last as long as possible as Kovo continuously runs forward without the possibility of stopping. Not smashing into red coloured objects and jumping over gaps successfully causes Kovo to gain momentum and speed up. The controls are effortless and can be played using only one hand. Keys “A” and “D” moves Kovo left or right, key “W” enables Kovo to shoulder barge robots and holding onto this key makes him speed up, key “S” slows Kovo down and the space bar causes Kovo to jump. The controls work well although it’s far too easy to overcook the left or right keys making Kovo step left or right twice rather than the intended once. This means you literally have to tap them quickly, which causes frustration beyond belief and I often found myself dieing unintentionally because of it. The tutorial takes place when a game mode is selected for the first time and is in the form of skippable video clips explaining the mode selected as well as the controls and some tips and tricks to help you…..very handy.
There are 3 stages on offer here in 3 different game modes. Quest mode requires the player to complete objectives, mainly collecting a certain object during the level to gain points to enable Kovo to level up. Survival mode is an endurance test to see how far the player can get without dieing and bust-a-friend mode is a form of multiplayer distributed over social networking sites to compete against friends. The 3 stages differ only in visual design and obstacle placement, however each stage gets steadily tougher as the player progresses. I didn’t feel there was enough content here to keep me interested. For example, another playable character and a few more levels would have been nice and boss stages that could have adapted a kind of style that would give Sonic the Hedgehog a run for his money.
Techtonic Games have succeeded in creating a beautifully-designed and incredibly addictive title that is really hard to put down. I can’t fault Bust-N-Rush’s simplistic gameplay enhanced by collectable buffs in game causing things to get crazy fast and I loved it. However, the bizarre yet forgettable story and a few minor frustrations makes this game enjoyable in short stints only.
I score Bust-N-Rush 3/5.
Bust N Rush
Developers : Techtronic Games
Publisher: Techtronic games
Genre: Arcade runner
Release date: 14th September 2012