Monday, September 08, 2008

Vector Runner

Vector Runner is pretty much your classic dodger. You pilot some kind of squarish vehicle through a neverending path filled with pyramids, all rendered with the vector graphics technology that was new and exciting in 1980. Your craft can survive three hits; along the way, you can also pick up various cubes which give you points, temporary invincibility, or a shield recharge.

Um, that's pretty much all there is to say about the gameplay. The graphics are undeniably stylish, and the animation is very smooth, but this comes at a price -- unlike your typical Flash action game which is easier on slower computers, Vector Runner is best played on a faster computer -- on a slower computer, the controls become very mushy and the precision steering you need to survive just isn't attainable. The sounds fit the game well, and the music is excellent -- I especially like the way it shifts when you move into different zones of the track.

While this is a well-executed game, it's still just a dodger with nothing beyond the basic formula, so it didn't really hold my interest for a long time. (Though there was an impossible badge to get, which kept me playing for a while.)

(Since I've gone this far without mentioning a Mac game, I need to rant. How is it that my 8 MHz Mac SE can play Spectre just fine, but my current machine, which is at least three and probably closer to four orders of magnitude more powerful, still slows down in Vector Runner every time it adds a message to the chat window? I mean, OK, Spectre had the full system resources available, while Vector Runner is running as a plugin in a web browser in a very complex operating system, but still!)

1 comment:

ToastyKen said...

I have the same problem with this game as I do when you leave magnification on in the Mac OS X dock: When you move in one direction, everything else moves in the other, and it's not very predictable how far it'll move. :\