In recent years the gaudy knitted jumper has gone from unwanted Christmas present to ironic hipster-wear to high street trend. It's funny how fashion works.

Now this woolly aesthetic has formed the inspiration for a new endless-runner, Knitted Deer.

It's an original look, but it's married to a pretty familiar game.

Deer hunter

Knitted Deer's quirky visual design bleeds into its premise. You're a bipedal gun-toting deer, and it's up to you to stay alive as long as possible through a continuously scrolling, increasingly hazardous but randomly generated landscape.

Your two key defences against a messy death from static blocks, moving enemies, and rotating buzz-saws are a good set of hind legs for jumping and a gun with unlimited bullets.

All you need concern yourself with is jumping, double-jumping, and pounding the right-hand side of the screen to shoot.

Material world

At heart, Knitted Deer is a pretty traditional iOS action game. Where developer Josh Presseisen mixes things up is in the consequence of success or failure.

Death isn't the end in Knitted Deer. Rather, you'll find yourself transported to a woolly approximation of hell - a much tougher version of the game with tricky enemies and awkward projectiles.

Do well in the main section by collecting the letters to the word 'HEAVEN', meanwhile, and you'll ascend to a fittingly lighter and more rewarding plane of existence.

At least, I assume you do. I wasn't good enough to achieve this in my time with the game. It's a tough cookie.

If you want to destroy my sweater

Much of this difficulty is down to Knitted Deer's punishing controls. It's got one of those exacting, almost binary control schemes in which there's absolutely no margin for error.

Fail to time the first in a sequence of block-hopping jumps exactly right and you're absolutely certain to come a cropper farther down the line.

Similarly, the jumping arc is pretty linear, so you often know when you're going to come up short well before you land.

If you're one of those suckers for punishment who loves to master such old skool systems you'll be in your element here - otherwise it leads to frustration.

Shopping for jumpers

It's possible to spend the accumulated coins you earn on each run in the game's shop. This lets you improve your three main weapons - your default gun alongside the shotgun and bomb temporary power-ups.

You can also spend on improving the two limited-use abilities, shield and invisibility (which is more like intangibility).

The menu for this is unclear and just plain awkward to use with the big chunky knit-text, and there's no help screen to instruct you how to use it. In fact, the game as a whole suffers from a lack of explanation - you're left to figure out the whole heaven and hell thing for yourself (which could be a profound comment on existence, but we doubt it).

All in all, Knitted Deer is a moderately accomplished runner with a quirky and fresh art-style - nothing more and nothing less.