Worm Run: An iOS endless runner that unfortunately misses the mark


Earlier this month, we brought you a preview of Worm Run, an intergalactic endless runner starring an incredibly unlucky space janitor named Zeke. Zeke needs to outrun a massive space worm, and you'll help him do that (in theory) via a series of swipe controls that unfortunately need a lot of work.

Rather than sending Zeke simply from one side of the screen to the other, Worm Run brings in tons of platforming, as Zeke must navigate a randomly generated assortment of caves, tunnels, pits, and towers, all with the limited power of his jetpack, along with items like ice that speed up his movement.

Controlling Zeke should be a breeze, as you're asked to simply swipe on the screen in the direction you'd like Zeke to travel, but in practice, it's a frustrating, overly complicated setup that can easily cause your fingers to hurt after just a short time of rapidly swiping on the screen. Zeke will not move even an inch without you telling him to, so you're left to constantly swipe, swipe, and swipe again on the screen to push him into motion, even if you wish to do nothing more than send Zeke in a straight line. He comes with very little of his own momentum, save for when he's sliding on ice, and getting him to do anything in terms of jumping is often frustrating.

The game's inclusion of so many pitfalls and tall obstacles means that you'll need to jump around in each game a lot, and if you don't continue to swipe in a precise manner once Zeke is in the air, you'll either fall back down to earth, accidentally dive into a tiny dead end, or will simply cling against the wall and must wall bounce off again before continuing your journey upward. Similarly, falling down a large pit should be easier than it is (that is, he should fall via the help of gravity in a straight line), but if you start your fall anywhere near the wall, Zeke will again cling to said wall and slide much more slowly than he should.

All the while, the Space Worm is tearing a massive hole through the world behind you, completely ignoring any of the obstacles that you're facing. While ice paths and pits may allow you to gain some distance on the beast, the many tight corridors found in each stage will see him gaining on you just as quickly as you originally got away.

To say that Worm Run is a difficult game would be an understatement, but it's a game with a fantastic premise that would work so much better with a different control scheme. I've never been a huge fan of a virtual joystick configuration, but I can actually see that working here over the constant rapid swipes you must make in the game's current state. Even with the ability to earn coins and purchase power-ups or even extra lives after you fail, these boosts still can't save what's ultimately a disappointing experience. If you'd still like to try Worm Run for yourself, you can now download the game for $0.99 on iOS.

Download Worm Run on iTunes for $0.99 >

What do you think of Worm Run? Were you able to master the game's swipe controls before your hands gave out? Sound off in the comments!