PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Polyrun
Developed By: Aurora Gameworks
Published By: Aurora Gameworks
Released: July 31, 2019
Available On: Windows
Genre: Action, Endless Runner
ESRB Rating: No Rating
Number of Players: up to two players
Price: $1.49

Thank you Aurora Gameworks for submitting this to our Steam Curator!

Sometimes, you just gotta run—feel the air flow past your hair, and watch as nature goes right past you. But since the new age doesn’t go outside anymore, you can easily replicate that in video games. New Zealand-based developer, Aurora Gameworks, created Polyrun, an Endless Runner where they make a bold claim to “throw a wrench into those cookie-cutter ad-intrusive games, and inject our passion and creativity!”

Endless runners can come in all shapes and sizes. Polyrun, in particular, comes in a third-person view. As with most endless runners, the goal is to go on for as long as you possibly can, moving left or right to dodge the obstacles in your path. The controls are simple—in fact, they are so simple that they only require the usage of two buttons. You have the choice between A and D, the left and right mouse clicks, or the use of a controller which can use the D-pad or left and right triggers. One hand is all you need to play so you can do whatever you want with that other hand, whether its to flip burgers, calculate your finances, or keep that fuzzy cat away from your electronics!

At first, you’ll start at a slow pace, but as the game continues onward, you’ll start to go faster, requiring more precise reflexes. A score multiplier is located at the top of the heads-up display and increases by .1 for every couple of seconds or by narrowly dodging the obstacles. Little squares can be collected for additional points. There are three power-ups that can be collected: A score multiplier that increases it by 5, a score magnet that pulls all of those squares into you, whether you are in the path or not, and the invincible power-up that lets you bowl through anything that stands in your way.

Polyrun
Highlights:

Strong Points: A bunch of customization for your character; multiplayer can be enjoyable if you have a friend (or want to text your ambidexterity); simple gameplay that you can immediately get into 
Weak Points: Gaining Polycoins to purchase custom options can be a bit of a drag if you’re not consistently getting one million points or more
Moral Warnings: A bit of violence as you run into stationary objects all with bone-crunching sound effects and screams of agony; some of the custom options include an LGBT flag and pin

Polyrun has a bit more depth than you’d realize at first and is pretty flexible in your playstyle. Do you simply play the waiting game and go for distance, racking up points slowly but surely, or do you play on the edge and dodge shrubs, trees, bushes by mere millimeters to rack up that score multiplier? Whichever playstyle fits you the, the key to getting high scores is to look ahead and not always directly in front. Not only do you get to see what's in your path, but power-ups can also be seen in the distance way ahead of time. Sooner or later no matter how good you are, you will crash into something causing you to catapult high into the air or even into the sides. It is funny to see your poly runner launch itself into the air and slowly float back down.

Six different levels are available, each having a different design. You’ll run through forests, alpines, a city at night, deserts, suburban areas, and jungles while electronic and techno beats accompany you. All levels play the same but are distinct enough design-wise that they are worth playing at least once each. Polyrun uses a cel-shaded, low-polygon style that has a type of timeless charm to it. It also keeps it running at a stable 60 frames on most hardware as the system requirements are pretty low.

After gaining Polycoins through numerous runs, you can go to the customization shop and buy a boatload of custom options from headwear, pins and neckwear, hands, footwear, and eyes. They range from serious attire such as shoes and shades to unusual gear like shark hands, fox tails, and glowing eyes. Making your character as stylish or goofy as you can be is enjoyable in itself. Each custom option can range from 500 to 2500 coins and 96 total pieces. For every 10,000 points or so on your score, you get around the equivalent of 10 Polycoins so if you’re trying to get every piece of attire (which there is an achievement for), It can take quite a while to reach that point. If you beat your high score, you can get one piece free of charge. It is on a one-hour cooldown to prevent abuse. Personally, the cooldown could be completely removed as most people are only going to beat their high scores a handful of times at the most.

Polyrun
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

Outside of the single-player endless runner, there are competitive multiplayer modes with two players one of which being a standard competition, and the other one is a tournament mode which is a best-of-three. The main differences are that the multiplayer is on a time limit, and bumping into trees and boxes only knocks down your score and score multiplier. There are two exclusive power-ups, one being some kind of power-up that changes the squares on the screen to a larger orange color. The other one covers the opposing side with distorted pixels, making it harder for them to see what’s coming up. Although I had no one to test out this mode with, it was fun for me trying to navigate two players on two different sides.

Being a runner game, there isn’t much to talk about in terms of morality. There is a bit of violence because when the player rams headfirst into a barrier, they scream out in pain and it sounds like a bone breaking alongside it. Also seeing that this is a 2019 game in a world where the LGBT community is gaining increasing relevance, that means others will start to pander to them. Polyrun keeps it very basic in such that some of the custom options your poly runner can have are a pride flag and a pride pin.

For something that is the same price as a drink in a convenience store, Polyrun has good value. It is a nice game to start up quickly for a few minutes of game time and the amount of character customization options separate it from all the others. Aurora Gameworks could make the grind for all attire a bit less daunting, but it is a simple, fun casual game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some more running to do.

About the Author

Cinque Pierre

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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