Holding a button to control your altitude while flying through confined environments has been fun for years. The question is; does Atomik: RunGunJumpGun do enough to make this simple premise fresh in 2018?
If you've ever played the super-addictive Jetpack Joyride then Atomik: RunGunJumpGun should feel very familiar. However, whereas Jetpack Joyride is an endless runner that mostly has you use 1 button, Atomik: RunGunJumpGun consists of bite-sized stages and has you push 2 buttons. One button fires your gun into the ground which makes you ascend while the other lets you shoot forward to clear out any in the way obstacles. Meanwhile, hazards consist of flamethrowers, saws, spikes, and a whole assortment of death traps. On top of all that, if you lag too far behind by being snagged on a wall then you'll perish which may not make much sense but it does keep you on your toes. Overall, a game that only uses a couple buttons is a nifty concept and Atomik: RunGunJumpGun ends up being rather challenging, satisfying, and surprisingly easy to learn.
Atomik: RunGunJumpGun is a super-trippy game that features a cast of disturbing characters who usually taunt you before stages. From what I gathered by reading their dialogue, their world is ending and you play as a scavenger who's raiding their Atomiks which double as the game's collectibles. Amassing a wealth of them eventually unlocks two additional worlds to play through. Anyway, the neon environments, trippy music, and off-putting characters add up to make quite a psychedelic experience.
Trying to master every stage in Atomik: RunGunJumpGun can be rather enjoyable. Although the stages are usually very short, being able to snag every last Atomik without dying will almost certainly require multiple attempts, even within the first world. Speaking of worlds, the entire campaign consists of three of them and each contains 40 stages plus an incredibly tough unlockable bonus level. This might sound like a lot but the entire experience feels a little hollow due to a lack of modes. I would have loved to see an endless mode, a multiplayer component, mini-games, or anything besides just mindlessly working through the campaign's short stages.
Besides the lack of modes, Atomik: RunGunJumpGun starts to become repetitive for a couple other reasons. First, the gameplay is so basic and doesn't change much throughout the entire campaign. Sure, you'll find yourself navigating through underwater portions that reverse the gravity mechanic, attacking space ships, and dealing with rotating spike columns; but the core gameplay remains unchanged. Why couldn't there be cool power-ups and different vehicles like in Jetpack Joyride? Finally, the stage designs frequently become monotonous because once a new hazard is introduced, you can count on the next dozen or so stages milking that hazard for all its worth. This could have been remedied by thinking up more hazards because just a handful isn't enough to make a varied campaign.
Atomik: RunGunJumpGun features a mind-blowing presentation and challenging gameplay that's easy to learn. However, that gameplay doesn't really go anywhere exciting and the overall experience ends up feeling quite lacking as a result.
- + Simple yet satisfying gameplay
- + Great psychedelic visuals and sound
- + Mastering stages can be quite fun
- - Basic gameplay could use more mechanics as it remains the same throughout
- - Stage designs start to feel repetitive
- - Lack of additional modes