It seems like mobile game protagonists are always running from something, and in Boulder Jack's case it's an Indiana Jones-style rock that just doesn't know when to quit.
Unlike most games in the genre, Boulder Jack does mix things up a bit by putting the expected chase cam out in front - so that you're looking at Jack's face and can see the boulder behind him as it relentlessly gives chase - but functionally it's quite similar.
To a fault, actually.
I like that boulder
Despite the sameness of the gameplay, Boulder Jack's visuals definitely stand out. The world is very colorful and vibrant, and Jack's animations are fairly pleasing.
The way he'll look over his shoulder in a panic when the boulder starts closing in is a particularly nice touch. I also rather like the slow-motion shot of the boulder bearing down on Jack as the game asks you if you'd like to continue (either by using coins or by watching a video ad).
Aside from that it's mostly a bunch of swiping left and right to change lanes, up to jump over obstacles, and down to slide under them.
Coins gathered along the way can be used for upgrading power-ups later, and said power-ups can be found strewn throughout the game - usually in tricky places.That is a nice boulder
I don't really have a problem with Boulder Jack's similarities to other runners, but there are a few other elements that do bug me quite a bit.
For starters, the initial section (that you can't skip) is mind-numbingly easy. I thought the Head Start power-up would help, but all it does is give you a slightly faster than default speed bird to ride for a little while - you still have to slog through the early bits.
Also, purchasing the Head Start power-up before a run simply doesn't work - it keeps saying I don't have enough coins despite having plenty.
Then there's the lag that occurs whenever I unpause the game. It happens immediately after the countdown ends, and often leads to an unavoidable crash.
At its heart, Boulder Jack is a reasonably entertaining game. And it looks quite nice. However it doesn't really stand out, and its power-up and pause issues certainly aren't doing it any favors.