Who doesn’t like a good side scrolling infinite runner? If you just raised your hand, this review probably won’t interest you. For those that are left, I’m afraid this game might not interest you. I appreciate that the developers felt they were doing something slightly different than the rest of the crowd, but frankly the game feels like a Robot Unicorn / Unicorn Dash knock-off with a horse riding, sword wielding demon. While in theory that sounds cool, in practice it comes off as a cheap second rate attempt at doing something that’s already been done much better. This may sound awfully harsh, but keep in mind we’re talking about a genre that already has plenty of entries.
Like most infinite runners, the running in this game is handled by the game. You just have to tap the left side of the screen to jump and the right side to swing your sword. If you tap the left side twice you’ll double jump, and if you time it right you can actually get a pretty decent length out of the jump since the second tap only has to occur before you touch the ground. Along the way you’ll collect fiery rocks, and if you can fill your meter up you’ll get a trail of flames, though I’m not really sure what this does besides the additional visuals. You have three lives which you can lose by either coming in contact with a bad guy or not landing right on the platforms. Occasionally you can pick up an extra heart, and there are also power ups to give you double score for a while or a temporary shield.
Every so often you’ll get an “end boss” that takes several hits to kill, but otherwise you’re basically taking on the same three or four villains over and over again. Fortunately there are at least some Game Center achievements to earn and leaderboards to conquer if you so desire, but the game itself really offers nothing to accomplish. There are no power ups to unlock or level up, no new characters to purchase, or really any of the staples that make you come back again and again to the current crop of infinite runners. In short there’s nothing truly addictive about this game, which I suppose does set it apart from its peers in the genre.
The visuals are a mixed bag. The backgrounds actually look decent, though there is no animation other than some weather effects on certain portions of the game. The creature models are kind of silly, the bad guys are barely animated and the main character feels stiff. Sound effects thankfully don’t get annoying, but they don’t add much to the game either. The soundtrack has a disco vibe to it which feels out of place for the game, and it seems to loop after about 5 seconds.
The infinite running genre is fairly saturated, so being average isn’t really enough any more. Unfortunately, Taste My Steel isn’t even average. With no power ups or characters to unlock there’s little motivation to keep coming back to game play that isn’t very addictive in the first place. The aesthetics are mediocre at best, but really pale in comparison to its contemporaries. If you’ve extinguished all the high end offerings in this genre Taste My Steel might satisfy your craving for infinite running, but it might serve you better just playing one of the games you already own.
Overall Score: 4/10
App Store Link
Note: This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch 4 running iOS 5.1.1.