[App Fridays] The Criminal Escape - a fun, runner game for iOS


This column is sponsored by Nokia Asha

The first mobile games of popular game labels like FIFA or Need for Speed, was usually a pixelated and horribly sized down version of the original game. This was mainly because of the lack of hardware and the screen size. Today a lot of that has changed. There are phones with more processor cores and RAM than most personal computers today.

However, the screen sizes haven't changed much. While on Android, there are those ridiculously large "phablets", but the iPhone's biggest shift in screen size has been from 3.5 inches to 4 inches. So despite all the objective C goodness and the powerful processors, it is still a fairly small screen and games that require complicated gestures or have on screen buttons haven't been hugely popular.

Simple, stress buster games, with not much of a story line, which engages the user for a short period of time have been quite popular in the smartphone space and today's App Friday, The Criminal Escape, is a runner app, for the iOS platform.

What is it about?

While the app doesn't tell you much about the story, it seems as though you are a criminal, who has to make an escape. In your way, you have physical obstacles which you have to shoot or jump over. Also, watch out for the policeman who has a gun and will shoot you at sight. You can collect health, ammo and coins along the way.The more health packs you pick along the way, you can sustain a few bullet blows. Once they run out, you die. Also, running into an obstacle or not jumping in time will also kill you and end the game. As the game progreses, the speed at which the criminal runs increases.

The longer you run and the more coins you collect, the higher the score you get. That's pretty much the objective of the game; run long enough without running into an obstacle or taking a fatal gun shot.

In essence, your typical runner game.

The runner game 

It's pointless. It has no story line. You can't play it for long. But it is simply the most popular kind of game across smartphone apps. Yes, you can argue that games like Temple Run are a little more interactive than Criminal escape, but fundamentally, they're built on the same premise. These games are meant to be played in those five minute windows of free time.

Furthermore, given the multipurpose nature of the smartphone, I think these games make a lot of sense. They don't take too much time and yet they are engaging and challenging enough to keep you hooked for a short period of time. Also because of the limited nature of these kind of games' functionality, there is always some free screen real estate that is available for use which can be used for ads.

So how does this app fare?

Pros and cons 

I quite liked the The Criminal Escape. I needed to be weaned off it to get started on writing its review. The game is challenging enough, and yet it is easy enough to keep you hooked. The jumps have to timed correctly, as a slip in concentration will kill you. Couple that with the ever increasing speed, it is quite engaging. The visuals of the app are kept at a minimum. I haven't come across this kind of silhouette based design on a runner game before this.

The game can be a little more interesting with some more options; say, a different kind of gun, different obstacles can be interesting. Apart from this, there aren't any ads on the app. I would think this app can generate some ad revenue.

Our take 

The Criminal Escape is a good game. It is encouraging to see a runner game from India, as I don't recollect any other. Its design is simple and even innovative to an extent - little effort, yet lasting impact. Overall, it's great to pass time.

An android version for the app would also be useful as it will result in more users. Furthermore, there is some room adding some more difference to the kind of obstacles or weapons. However, this game is good enough to pass some time.

Download the The Criminal Escape and wile away some time. 


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