PG Applympics 2012: The running event

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PG Applympics 2012: The running event

Welcome to the Pocket Gamer Applympics - our (hopefully legal) spin on that big sports thingy that's happening in the UK this summer.

Put simply, we're going to go focus on a number of sporting events and try and find eight mobile games that have some vague, tenuous link to the sport in question.

Then, we'll ask you - our fine readers - to vote on which games deserve medals made of precious metals.

Second event this week is the running event. Everything from the shortest sprint to the longest marathon. We've picked out eight great games about putting one foot in front of the other (fast) - but, which do YOU think is best?

To vote for your favourite running game of the PG Applympics, visit our Facebook page and select the relevant game you want to win. So easy, even Lord Coe could manage it.

By Bennett Foddy - buy on iPhone applympics-running-qwop

In this bonkers indie game you micromanage the movements of Olympic hopeful QWOP. You play puppetmaster, individually moving each leg and tilting the athlete back and forth.

It's almost certainly going to end in disaster, as the runner crumples to the floor in a hilarious pile of mangled limbs and bent-back bones. Just laughing at QWOP's plight is entertainment enough, but finally mastering the controls and achieving a perfect run is seriously satisfying.

By Semi Secret Software - buy on iPhone and iPad or buy on Android applympics-running-canabalt

A pioneer of the endless running genre; Adam Saltsman's indie epic introduced the world to super simple, super addictive platforming.

In the game, a man tirelessly outruns some unspecific end of the world scenario, leaping from roof to roof, and smashing through plate glass windows along the way.

It's stark and simple, but there's something to Canabalt's finely-tuned elegance which makes it refuse to budge from our homescreens.

Mega Run - Redford's Adventure
By Get Set Games - buy on iPhone and iPad applympics-running-mega-run

Redford's Adventure is a mutant mash up of the humble platformer and the endless runner. It's part Canabalt, part Sonic: Redford runs forward automatically, but the levels are hand-crafted stages with distinct paths and items.

It means you get all the thrills of a platformer, but without the dodgy controls. That comes in handy as bug-eyed red blob Redford stumbles through dozens of levels in search of his kidnapped siblings.

Temple Run
By Imangi Studios - buy on iPhone and iPad or buy on Android applympics-running-temple-run

If Canabalt introduced the masses to the 2D endless runner, Temple Run should be blamed for bringing this addiction into the third dimension. The concept is largely the same, only you get to bank left and right, and turn into corners.

You play an Indiana Jones-type adventurer, who gets chased by demon monkey things after nicking a cursed idol. Cue several minutes (or several seconds, if you suck) of escape.

Zombies, Run!
By Six to Start - buy on iPhone or buy on Android applympics-running-zombies-run

The other games on this list involve some virtual avatar doing the running, while you sink into the sofa. Not Zombies, Run!, which forces you to stand up, slap on some headphones, and get running.

You see, a lengthy jog will let you find items which will help you solve missions when you get back home. Don't forget about the zombies: if you hear a brain-hungry fiend in your headphones you'll need to pick up your pace to avoid getting munched.

Grim Joggers
By 10tons - buy on iPhone and iPad or buy on Android applympics-running-grim-joggers

Most endless runners feature a lone athlete (or business man, or adventurer, or Bear Grylls) against the world. Grim Joggers has you control an entire procession of runners, all sprinting in a single file dash to their death.

Its a clever way to communicate your current health. When a jogger jogs off this mortal coil - likely eaten by a polar bear, or speared on spikes - you take control of the next guy, and watch your queue of runners get worryingly shorter.

Subway Surfers
By Kiloo - buy on iPhone and iPad applympics-running-subway-surfer

There are plenty of Temple Run clones (featuring post-apocalyptic worlds, and anthropomorphised raccoons), but the cartoony Subway Surfers is arguably the pick of the litter.

It puts a wicked twist on the formula, by letting you either run along the ground or jump up on top of the trains for more coins. These multi-layered courses introduce a devilish slice of risk vs reward, which will keep you sweating,

I Must Run!
By Gamelion Studios - buy on iPhone, or buy on Android applympics-running-must-run

This prison break simulator is very similar to Canabalt, but amps up the complexity - in more ways than one. Its more detailed visually, as a police helicopter tracks your every move, rain crashes down, and lightning cracks in the background.

And it adds an extra layer of thought, too, as you need to double jump over larger gaps, punch your way through boxes, and slide under stuff. Earn enough coins and you'll open up new levels.

Remember: To vote for your favourite running game of the PG Applympics, visit our Facebook page and select the relevant game you want to vote for. The winners of each event will be revealed at the end of the week.

To see each of the eight runners in action, check out the video below.

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Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.