Indie: Canabalt

You know what? I get it. You’re busy. Life gets in the way, right? Schoolwork steps in, your job starts cracking down, and all of those precious free seconds vanish in an instant. This is part of that whole adult thing, I’ve been told (hint: it sucks).

So I don’t blame you for not downloading Knytt, the first ever indie game highlighted here on Unwind. Really. I mean, I don’t think we can ever be friends, but I can’t really fault you for being too busy to let a download run in the background while you do other things. It’s tough. Yeah.

But we need to talk. See, this Canabalt game? Yeah. No excuse. It loads in your web browser. It requires exactly one button to play. Oh, and another thing — it’s awesome.

It’s also pretty easy to write about, all things considered.

Here’s the premise: you’re running. That’s, uh, about it. It’s never explicitly stated why you jump out of a window and start sprinting along rooftops at the start of the game, but it looks like a hell of a lot of fun, and most would argue that’s probably enough.

That’s also the entire game in a nutshell. Yeah. You run. You jump between buildings, dodging the occasional sky-mine-painful-thing, and curse your luck whenever your glorious escape comes to a not-so glorious end. See, here’s the thing about Canabalt: it’s hard. Very hard, in fact, as less than thirty seconds with the game will prove. It’s surprisingly difficult to make it more than a couple thousand meters before something goes horribly awry, thanks in no small part to the randomized nature of the map.

Every time you start the game, the buildings will be shuffled around, meaning you’ll never experience the same route twice. It’s a nice touch, and probably one of the cooler aspects of the game, providing it with the infinite replayability that most titles fail to capture. It also means that you’ll get screwed over on occasion, as sometimes the map likes to drop a sky-mine-seriously-painful-thing on you the minute you land a perfectly-timed jump, but I’d argue that’s honestly just part of the fun.

Why not give it a shot? It’s a fast, simple, and legitimately entertaining title, and the fact that it runs in-browser means you can get straight into the action within seconds. I’ve been playing it for about a week now, in those rare moments of adult free time (hint: life sucks), and Canabalt kills the occasional couple of minutes wonderfully. Despite my time with it, however, I’ve yet to get beyond 4800 meters. Think you can do better?

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No Comments on "Indie: Canabalt"

  1. pantone175c
    11/09/2009 at 7:24 am Permalink

    Another fun indie game for me to play at work, well done!!! I saw a serious drop in productivity when you showed me Plants vs. Zombies

    If my boss asks, ill just blame Matt from Unwind…

  2. Mel
    15/09/2009 at 8:29 am Permalink

    Gotta take a look at this one.

  3. Red
    25/11/2009 at 9:29 pm Permalink

    Excellent game if you want to kill time.

    I got a question though. Is it possible to beat the game?
    If so, for how long would you have to run?

  4. Ted
    25/11/2009 at 9:32 pm Permalink

    Hey, Knytt was a very good game!
    It was well made and it totally was fun playing it. Knytt Stories was however,…. disappointing.

    Canabalt was fun. But not as fun as Knytt, IMHO.

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