Sonntag, August 4, 2013 09:02:04

Review: Indiana Stone Is an Endless Running Game For Voxel Lovers

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I first found Indiana Stone in Cory Roberts's channel, Fun and beautiful games 5k+ and less installs. It's hard to believe, but at the time of this writing, this well-polished gem has less than 500 downloads. Cory says:

The impressive 3D voxel graphics are a sight to see. A refreshing entry into the endless runner genre where you are the boulder. Well worth the $3.

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Yes, you are a pixelated boulder. It's more fun than it sounds.

Concept and Gameplay

You know how Indiana Jones is always on the run in some dark cave, escaping crashing boulders by the skin of his teeth? No? Well, how about that guy from Temple Run, then, endlessly running for his life? That surely rings a bell. It seems as though you're always destined to be the good guy, forever doomed to be frantically running while scary things are out to get you. Well, it doesn't have to be that way: This time, you get to play the boulder.

In Indiana Stone, you're an endlessly-rolling boulder, chasing a pixelated explorer that has apparently stolen an ancient artifact. Actually, we all know that boulders can't really endlessly roll, and indeed, if you crash into too many obstacles and lose momentum, the cheeky explorer will escape (and you'll lose).

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Filling up the power-up bar.

Your run-of-the-mill boulder can usually roll, at least downhill. Few boulders can jump, though -- but the Indiana Stone boulder is surprisingly agile, capable of executing impressive jumps over barriers. If you try hard enough, you'll even get it to jump through special hoops, and thus gain extra speed.

Of course, just chasing one guy through an endless sequence of barriers can get old pretty fast, so what's a boulder to do to relieve the tedium? Squash other people, of course. And snakes. And bats. For every fragile organism you squash with your bouldery heft, your power-up bar fills up a little. Once full, tap the POW button to become indestructible and roll like crazy, hopefully finally getting that explorer.

Last but not least, as you progress through the game, you can unlock new boulder types. For example, you can become a drum instead of just a plain old boulder. The difference isn't just aesthetic: The drum is a better jumper than the boulder, too.

Graphics and Sound

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Voxels, as far as the eye can see.

Can you say "voxel"? If not, you can probably say "Minecraft". Same thing, really. Indiana Stone is highly pixelated, or rather, voxelated. It's a 3D look that keeps things very chunky and retro. All text is rendered in old-school pixelated monospace fonts, not unlike the ones which graced my EGA screen way back when.

Admittedly, all of this retro is a bit of an acquired taste. That said, Indiana Stone executes well on the style, ending up with a game that feels polished, consistent, and engaging.

The sound isn't bad, either. As you may expect, it's chiptune, reminiscent of old Nintendo sounds. The effects you hear as you squash things and bump into other things are nice and jarring, and the whole thing just works well.

It's Worth It

When it comes down to it, I agree with Cory: Indiana Stone is a polished game, and it's worth the $3. Next time you tire of being chased in whatever endless runner you're currently playing, try switching sides.