Sprinter is a charming adventure indie game with unique gameplay and a charming story.
If this review is too long for you, I suggest you to only read the first paragraph about the game’s content and the final verdict at the end.
Developer: Light Step Games
Publisher: Light Step Games
Genre: Top-down action sprinting game
Release date: 24 Feb, 2016
You play as Emily, Rosie or Lyle and you have to, well, run. There are obstacles on your way to the finish line and you have to get past them by temporarily disabling them at the right time. There is also a nice story that comes with it and all of this combined creates a very pleasant-to-play gaming experience.
- Graphics | As you can tell just by checking out the screenshots on this game’s Store page, Sprinter looks really minimalistic and, in my opinion, it’s as minimalistic as it can get. Everything you see on your screen is the character you’re playing as, the path, the obstacles, the instructions and the story, nothing more. I’m glad that this is the case as any more details and aesthetics would only distract the player when trying to beat the level.
- Gameplay | I have to say that this is one of the most unique and enjoyable concepts in video gaming this year. You will have to replay each stage over and over again to reach the end in time (or later, to get the gold medal on each level). This is because you have to time each action right and it can be quite difficult when you have to hold down multiple buttons at once. I don’t really like games where you have to repeat the same thing over and over again, but this game certainly made it quite enjoyable.
- Soundtrack and Sound Effects | The soundtrack is really amazing and it fits the minimalistic art style as well. It’s also much better when you use headphones when playing, so consider doing that. Also, each time you disable one of the obstacles a certain tone is played. When you have to press one button after the other without stopping much, you kind of create a melody in the process. It’s a pretty nice idea.
- Story | The story is quite deep, it talks about different people, their lives, their bothers and their ways to deal with problems. One of those ways includes running, which is kind of the main theme of this game. Although no words are used to explain what is happening, you get a few pictures for every stage you complete and you have to take a look at them to see what the story is about. I think a few well-written lines wouldn’t hurt, but this way is alright as well.
- Replayability | Surprisingly, there is also a lot of room for replaying the levels. When you complete the whole chapter, you can replay each included level in order to get the gold medal on it. There are two times set for each level: one for beating it and one for getting the gold medal. The gold medal time really requires you to master the level, while the “to beat” time only needs you to get through without any major mistakes (which can be quite difficult as well).
- Controls | I used my Steam Controller to play this game and I have to say that the controls are placed well and they are quite enjoyable. You have to press a lot of different buttons within a short time frame, so it’s useful if you have them close together.
- Achievements | There are achievements for beating every stage and for beating it again with all gold medals. It’s a nice addition to the gameplay and encourages the player a bit more, which can be useful in this game at times.
- Multiple OSs Supported | Sprinting is now easy on SteamOS and MacOS as well. Hooray!
- Controls | “But didn’t you mention controls in the Pros section as well? What’s up with that?” Indeed, but there, I was talking about controller controls. Here comes the bad part: keyboard controls. I prefer playing games on my keyboard since that’s what I’m used to. However, playing Sprinter with a keyboard is pretty much impossible. I could barely complete a few levels with it and I was pretty much forced to switch to a controller. I don’t think that such games should only be playable with an additional device since that is not something everyone can afford.
- Difficulty | Towards the end, I found this game to be a bit too difficult to still be enjoyable. I could barely complete levels and I needed more than fifteen minutes for each one and that was not even for the gold time. In my opinion, some levels should be made easier.
- No Trading Cards | It’s a shame that Sprinter doesn’t have Trading Cards. I bet the badge would’ve been quite lovely.
Overall, the game is really really good. The story is good, the graphics are awesome and the soundtrack is very enjoyable as well. The levels can be quite difficult and they get even more difficult as you make progress through the game. If you want to buy this game, you need to make sure you own a controller, otherwise, you will probably not enjoy this game as much.