Ever since Temple Run had phone owners glued to their devices trying desperately to keep a giant boulder from crushing them by making precision movement decisions in a split second, the endless runner genre has been a source of fascination that has many mobile gamers chasing the next great one.
As simple as it seems to make a game where you input directions in order to avoid obstacles until one of them finally catches up with you, the truth is that the endless runner genre is so simple that it becomes complicated to make a great one. Trying to stand out in the sea of endless runners is no small feat.
All is Lost makes some detours from the endless runner genre, starting with the fact that it isn’t endless. Instead, you are presented with several levels that ask you to help crew members escape battle-torn spaceships alive. By navigating them through random series of challenging obstacles, you can eventually get them to the level’s end.
While this move away from the endless style of play could make All is Lost a more limited experience, developers Foursaken Media do a fantastic job of finding other ways to add plenty of replay value to the experience. Mostly, it is accomplished by making the obstacle movement challenges much more complicated than your average runner. As the difficulty of All is Lost escalates, you are going to be asked to make a series of fairly complicated maneuvers in order to survive. It gives All is Lost a much higher skill cap than most games in this genre offer.
If you are not as skilled at this style of game as you would like to be, though, you may find that All is Lost is a bit too challenging at times. The randomized nature of the obstacle placements can have a bad habit of stacking on top of each other in illogical ways, which makes the already more complicated input requirements that much more challenging to successfully navigate. To put it simply, this is not a game for the most casual of endless runner fans.
However, if you have mastered other runner games and are looking for something that asks a little more of you, then there is a good chance you will fall in love with All is Lost. It’s a wonderful little twist on an old genre that sacrifices some accessibility in favor of providing a more substantial experience, right down to the game’s story and settings which actually do a fairly decent job of providing a plot to a genre that has never tried to incorporate such a thing.
All is Lost is a hardcore endless runner game and it’s hard not to love it for that.