Endless Runner

What Is an Endless Runner?

Running is great! You get to move quickly from one place to another while you feel the wind blowing in your face. Running really fast can make you feel lightheaded and powerful as you dash from one point to the next. Unfortunately, sprinting or jogging for a long time gets really exhausting. The longer you run, the slower you will most likely be. The adrenaline rush of sprinting at a very fast pace is only short-lived – unless you are the protagonist of an endless runner! In that case, you can technically run forever. These games aren’t called endless runner for nothing. You’re not quite sure what an endless runner is? Let us take a moment to put a spotlight on this gaming genre, which is not quite jump and run despite sharing many similarities with the fast-paced genre!

Run, Run, Run!

As we pointed out, an endless runner is not quite a jump and run game. Both genres do share quite a few similarities, but their differences make them very distinct. Let us list the most important features of an endless runner:

  • Free-to-play: This is true for almost all titles of this genre
  • A good story: Join fun protagonist who runs away from someone or something
  • 3D graphics: You slip into the role of a runner and watch them run
  • Touchscreen graphics: Swipe the screen to jump over and slider under obstacles
  • Endless levels: Unlimited gameplay that’s easy to learn, hard to master

These are certainly the most significant features of an endless runner. You might already see why this genre is not quite a jump and run game, despite being a platformer. We here on have a handful of action games in our database that are considered an endless runner. Temple Run, Subway Surfers, and Despicable Me: Minion Rush have truly shaped this genre.

Why Are They Not Jump and Runs?

The major difference between an endless runner and a jump and run is the way their levels work. Jump and runs such as Super Mario, Rayman, or Sonic the Hedgehog are defined by short levels that have been planned to a T by the developers. It is your goal to make it through each level. In an endless runner, there is no end to a level. The usage of the word endless is meant quite literally! Your goal is not to make it to the end of a level, but to get as far as possible and thereby collecting as many points as you can. With every passing second, the level gets harder however, making it more and more challenging to continue your run. When you die and restart a level, you will start at the very beginning and have to work yourself back up to where you died. Re-starting a level will always feel different, as the stages are procedurally generated, which means that they are slightly different each time you start a new game.

The endless runner has become a popular genre on mobile devices because it makes much better use of the touchscreen controls than a classic jump and run could. Swiping and tapping will get you a long way. You also don’t have to actively steer your protagonist who will simply run on his own!

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