Running and breaking rocks. Separately these two things are fun to some people. Techtonic Games believes they can be fun together in their new game Bust-N-Rush. So lace up your sneakers and ready your head, we're going to break some rocks.
Kovo was once a powerful miner of orbs on his home planet of Thurl. Now Kovo has decided to settle down and live a more casual life of tending his lawn and relaxing with his best friend Paco, a plastic pink flamingo. A life of lazy afternoons is not in the cards. With the toss of a boulder the evil Satellite of Wub shatters the tranquility, and Paco. Looking at the pieces of his best friend, Kovo swears revenge as he starts his run.
Controls and Gameplay
Bust-N-Rush is an endless runner arcade style game. Unlike most endless runner games Bust-N-Rush is not a side scroller, but a third-person perspective game. The main goal of the game is to run as far as possible, smashing through everything in your path, before your inevitable death. The controls are very simple; "A" to move left, "D" to move right, Space bar to jump, "W" to use a burst of speed, and Tab if you want to change the camera angle.
Almost everything on the screen is fair game to smash, unless it is red. Red objects are indestructible and take away health, blue items are normal smashables, green items launch you up, and purple items allow you to glide a short distance. There are four power ups too, Alpha Speed, Super Scorbs, Gravity Flipper, and Ultra Busts. Alpha speed makes you run faster and you are invulnerable for a brief time. Ultra Busts turns all red items into to blue smashables. Gravity Flippers do just that, flip the gravity. Scorbs are blue diamond-like items that Kovo smashes to get a multiplier bonus and a small amount of health. Super Scorbs are larger gold diamond-like items that, when smashed, cause a lot of regular scorbs to appear.
There are three modes with three worlds in each. The worlds are Depth of Thurl, Gearmageddon, and The Last Bound. In Depths of Thurl you run though caverns smashing through rocks, in Gearmageddon has you running through a factory complex smashing electrodes, while The Last Bound has you running in asteroid fields and space stations. The three modes are Quest, Survival, and Bust-A-Friend. Quest mode allows you to revenge on the Satellite of Wub by completing mini-quests, like jump over a number of red items or smashing a set number of items. These mini-quests change with each replay. Survival is just that, run as long as you can before you finally succumb to your inevitable end. Bust-A-Friend is much like Survival, but with the twist that you can directly challenge a single friend to beat your score. Each world can be played in one of three difficulties; Easy, Hard, and Insane. If you want to start with Insane you can and I wish you all the luck in the world.
Graphics and Sound
Bust-N-Rush runs on the Unity engine. The graphics are pretty detailed, not that you would really notice since you are running past or through most of it.
The overall sound effects are done well. The crunch of smashing boulders is a good solid crunch. The music is a bit of a mix between guitar rock and techno electronica, almost dub step, but with no "wub wub."
Bust-N-Rush is a throwback to good old arcade fun, where you had a thin story, limited lives, and bragged about your score. With Bust-N-Rush you can now brag about that score to not only your close friends, but to the world through Facebook. In some way, and I'm not sure why, but it reminds me of the old arcade game Tempest. Maybe it's the feeling that everything is coming at you at an increasing speeds.
It is a game that I think twitch gamers will love. As you play Kovo gets faster and the items coming at you start to become a blur. You have to watch and plan ahead, quickly. The kicker is you can't memorize a world because each one is procedurally generated every time, meaning it is different every time you play. The only problem with this is that sometimes the procedural generation will spit out an impossibility, heaven help you when that happens.
I do see that Bust-N-Rush will have a niche audience. Even I found that I really only wanted to play it in short sessions of about 10 - 20 minutes before I felt I was done. Still for those 20 minutes it was hella fun. It would make a great mobile game.
Bust-N-Rush has good old arcade fun, bragging rights, but repetitive levels make it a quick hit when the mood hits you. I give it a 4 out of 5.
For more information check out the Bust-N-Rush web site.