It looks like by this point in time, after years of flooding mobile devices, the side-scrolling runner needs to do something special to stand out. Can this something special be exceptionally amazing style and an awesome soundtrack? The answer to this question, at least for me, is yes, as evidenced by Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield. This stylish runner was launched on consoles and PC about a year ago, and in February of this year a massive update was released for these versions. Now Headup has posted the game and its major update on iOS as well as android devices where it feels at home, like a mobile game.
mechanically, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield solid. You have 4 actions available, each of which is assigned to one quadrant of the screen. Touch left to jump over objects or otherwise perform a medium-sized jump, touch the top of the screen to make a full-size jump, touch and hold the bottom of the screen to glide, and touch the right of the screen to run. Nothing revolutionary, but a fun mix of moves that require quick thinking when deciding which one to use for each object or situation you encounter.
There are a few things that I think are pretty clever that will help you with which move to use when. First, the objects have a colored outline around them, which basically tells you which move to use. Yellow is jump, red is jump, blue is slide. This may seem like an oversimplification, but trust me, it’s not. Next comes the difficulty selection, which gives you 3 different levels of warning assistance when an object is approaching, as well as a bullet-style slowdown that gives you more time to react to said approaching object.
The reason I find this so clever is because Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a level based runner and you time each level. Slowing down might give you a better chance of reacting, but it’s a bad move if you want the timing to be somewhat respectable on the leaderboards. Also, while I found these hints helpful when first learning the game, slowing down time does interfere with the rhythm of the game, and I actually found myself playing much better in “hardcore” mode with no help at all. your 4th turn, a sprint that doesn’t have a color indicator for when you should use it, but if a good completion time is important to you, you should use it whenever you get the chance.
So, explaining the gameplay in Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield, I kind of contradicted my own statement at the beginning. In the end, this game is pretty damn interesting in terms of mechanics. But if you take a step back and look at the incredible visual style, interesting story (like a runner!), and an absolutely killer soundtrack that ties it all together, then yes, these elements would really be enough for the whole game, even if it was just an average for mechanical level. Fortunately, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a complete package that combines style and content.
While I like that the runner will be primarily story-driven and have a really interesting story, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield not the longest game around to complete. This is where the previously mentioned big update comes in as it added a whole endless mode as well as a number of bonus levels that will seriously test your skills and challenge what you thought you knew about this game. All this for just a few bucks. Even if you think you can burn out completely on runners, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield might just change your mind, and even if not, at least you can bang your head to its amazing soundtrack for a while.