Summer Catchers is an undeniably beautiful-looking game with its gorgeous pixellated art style. It also tells a heart-warming tale about a young girl who lives in the frozen North heading South to discover what summer actually looks like. It's all sounds lovely, but what about the gameplay? Does that match it's gorgeous aesthetic? We asked our App Army to find out

Here's what they said:

Slava Kozyrev

With Summer Catchers iOS gamers receive yet another representative of endless runners, this time courtesy of Noodlecake Studios. The good thing it supports MFi Bluetooth controllers, although I am not sure whether this fact gives you an advantage over traditional touch control scheme.

The problem here lies within the game mechanics according to which performing any in-game action (jumping, accelerating, bashing, etc) apart from automatically moving forward requires selecting and then tapping the designated button on the right side of the screen. Several successive errors and you are out.

I understand that the developers aimed to shake things up a bit and bring something new to the table by also adding text adventure and interactive story elements to the mix. But the main trouble is that due to the dynamic nature of the game I was unable to string a long perfect run unlike in the signature Alto series where you gradually get into the groove and enjoy the ride for solid 5-10 minutes. For me, Summer Catchers very quickly turned into Summer Crashers.

Paul Manchester

I was looking forward to this game and the first moments seemed promising, but that soon ended. The game looks good with nice pixel animations and overall quality finish. However, underneath this is one of the most tedious runners I’ve played. Runs are short and rely on luck for the most part.

You have a limited number of parts to help clear obstacles, but as soon as these are used up it’s back to shop to buy more. The fact that the game is restricted by this loop and actual run playtime seems so short, I quickly tired of trying to progress. It’s definitely a pass from me.

Mark Abukoff

Simple retro runner with different tools to get past different kinds of obstacles, recognizing each variety of obstacle and remembering which tool (that you have to purchase for each level) to use. Music and sounds appropriate for the genre.

Controls are simple and work well enough. Graphics look sharp and appealing. Aside from that, I’m not a big fan of endless runners and honestly found nothing remarkable about this one, but if you are a fan, the challenge of this will probably appeal to you.

Jc Ga

The genre of endless runners is not my favourite and the gameplay consisting essentially of clicking on the action icons remains simple, but there is a strategic dimension in the choice of actions, like in deck building. The pretty graphics, the cute little details, the charming universe kept me curious.

The levels with "bosses" renew the pleasure by offering stimulating challenges. It’s not a game I would play long sessions of but plunge into it for occasional runs. The game is rather repetitive by its genre, but it’s a well-finished game, and it contains quite poetic surprises. It will not satisfy all players, but if you enjoy runners, it clearly deserves to be tested.

Robert Maines

Summer Catchers gameplay did not initially impress me. Unlike most auto runners your limit on how far you can go is determined not so much by your reflexes but by the random nature of action icons served up to you as your buggy motors along. This means your game can end through no fault of your own which is very annoying. I found this very off-putting and was going to delete the game.

But sticking with it, the game grew on me as I progressed and I’m quite enjoying it now. The game’s retro visuals look good although the sound is forgettable. Persevere and you might end up liking this game as I did.

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Raquel Segal

The game is beautiful, but I don't know if I liked it. Buying tools left everything a little confusing for me. I couldn't pass some obstacles, making the game a bit boring and repetitive. I wish I liked it more :( I don't have very good reflexes, so I think this game is not for me.

Pierpaolo Morgante

I played this game quite a bit, and my overall impression is honestly neutral. The “bad” parts balance out with the good parts. I’ll describe what I liked first, then I’ll move to what I didn’t like. I liked the graphics, which are very nice and polished. I liked the soundtrack/music and the atmosphere, it is dream-like. All these features show great attention to the details from the developers, and it is quite a delight.

What I didn’t like was the overall game mechanics, unfortunately. I don’t mind a platform game or a runner. This one though was a little frustrating, as you are limited in your actions and you always have to buy more objects to use.

I got unlucky quite a few times, as I had a run that needed only the hammer tool, and there was no way I could buy that many. Overall, it is not a game I recommend, but it’s also not a game I wouldn’t recommend. For sure, look it up before you buy it though.

Marc Russell

Summer Catchers is a well-presented game using a pixelated art style, whilst this looks good on a phone, it doesn’t look too good on a tablet, but is still playable. The game overall is very polished and looks like a decent amount of effort was put into the look and feel of the game.

The game is an endless/auto-runner where you buy moves before each run and perform each move to avoid oncoming obstacles. Each run you try and complete tasks to progress further into the game. Unfortunately, the game itself is a simple concept that has been repeated many times on mobile but as a premium game.

It seems to have all the tropes of a free-to-play game to slow your progress down to make it extend the life of the game. For instance, only one task can be accomplished each run and also needing to buy specific items to complete a run with the currency you earn in-game.

The big issue I have is that at any one time there are actions shown on the screen which you can perform to avoid the oncoming pitfalls and take no damage, the actions are displayed randomly down the side of the screen, these are taken from the pool of actions you purchased or had leftover from previous runs.

Being random, you may not have the required move in your list for the oncoming obstacle, which means you have to quickly swipe one away, and then another random one from your remaining ones will replace it, this still may not be the one you require, meaning you cannot successfully navigate the obstacle. Take too many hits and the level is over.

This does mean you can fail a level, not because of your reflexes or that you didn’t purchase enough of the required actions, but because of the random nature of the way your moves are given to you, which you can then perform. This also means you can’t play a level to see how far you reactions take you as you will run out of them and your damage will end the run.

I guess this method was used to make the game “different”, but it ends up making it frustrating and for me not fun to play. I’m not sure if this can be fixed as this is the bit that makes the game “different” and removing or changing the way the game works will just make it another endless runner. For that reason, I can’t recommend the game unless you are happy with this type of gaming mechanic.

Oksana Ryan

I loved the look of this game but unfortunately, that was as good as it got. To get past obstacles in the way as I drove I had to buy tools to knock them down, jump over or boost my way up hills. These tools were bought using mushrooms collected on the course.

There were other tasks to perform to get through the course but I never got to them, instead, the game soon took on a repetitive theme of the short drive - back to start and buy more tools. A short drive - back to start and buy more tools. After more attempts than I care to think about I got bored and gave up. Definitely not for me.

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