The whole premise behind the game GrimJoggers is bizarre to say the least. You lead a group of 15 joggers as far as possible in attempt to avoid an assortment of brutal deaths by way of spikes, man eating plants, cliffs and more. It’s an arcade-style survival game with online leader boards and achievements. The developers describe the game as “jogging becomes Bloodsport”. Anything that includes a reference to Jan Claude Van Damme movies is ok in our book, but is GrimJoggers worth the price of admission.
When you first start, you control 15 joggers by way of the first jogger. Tapping makes him jump and a double-tap makes him jump higher. The moves you make with the first jogger effects the rest of the pack. Each of the four levels features side-scrolling action, where the aim is to avoid various pitfalls and gruesome ways for your joggers to meet their demise. There are spikes, cliffs and venus flytrap plans that enjoy a healthy diet of joggers.
While this might sound easy in theory, it’s not entirely possible for parts of your jogging crew to follow the first jogger. Remember, they are following you, so changes in the course sometimes affect the last team in your group in a different way. This brings about some excellent game play. Decisions you’d make as the leader might be great for the leader, but could send the last in line into a line of spikes.
As you start to lose joggers in an assortment of fatalities, the remaining joggers pick up the pace and the game moves faster. That makes it harder to make decisions on when to jump, where to jump and how high. I often found myself watching the death of my fallen joggers, rather than retaining focus on the few remaining. The end result was not great for my score, nor my joggers.
The game is reminiscent of 8-bit gaming in some ways. As a universal app, the $1.99 gets you admission into both the iPad and iPhone. The iPad graphics are passable, considering the high quality game play. The game plays well on both devices, but I actually preferred game play on the iPad. The larger display made it easier to keep track of my joggers and upcoming hazards.
Grim Joggers is high on concept, but one that is flawlessly executed to provide excellent game play. You’ll find yourself laughing at some of the unfortunate deaths of your joggers. In some ways, the game is great for those who don’t excel at gaming, since you essentially have 15 tries to get it right. Joggers go down fast in Grim Jogger and in brutal fashion. Jogging as bloodsport. A concept that would make Van Damme happy, along with anyone who enjoys fast, fun side scrolling arcade gaming.
Grim Joggersretails for $1.99 and is available in the App Store.