Endure 3D is a free-running game that attempts to bring the exciting, fast-paced world of parkour to the iPad, much in the way Mirror’s Edge did for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 back in 2008. Unfortunately, while Mirror’s Edge was a thrilling no-holds-barred adventure, Endure 3D is kind of boring.
The game was developed by indie game company Angry Pirate Productions, which also created a side-screen 2D parkour-style game called Chronology for the Windows Phone earlier this year. While I can appreciate the pixelated late-80′s look of Chronology, Endure 3D attempts to step it up by adding a third dimension and better graphics, but sadly it doesn’t work.
The concept of the game is simple enough: Make sure the “traceur” (a.k.a. parkouring character) doesn’t get stuck. However, it’s surprising how easy it is to get stuck in this game. It’s almost too easy.
From the moment the game starts the traceur is running, and the player has to help him avoid obstacles by jumping, sliding or lazily shifting from side to side. The controls are easy enough. Rotate the iPad left or right to move the traceur to different sides of the building, and touch the right side of the screen to make him jump or the left side of the screen to make him slide.
However, that’s where the ease of this game ends. It is so hard to progress anywhere in this game, and there are several reasons why.
The first is the pacing. There is no way to move the traceur faster or slower; he simply stays at the same speed the entire time. There are particularly difficult scenarios in which an action needs to be immediately followed by another action, such as a slide followed by an immediate jump, like the picture above. However, the speed the traceur is moving is faster than the speed in which he shifts, slides or jumps. There is just not enough time, and he’ll likely run into an obstacle or fall down the building.
The second difficulty is in the obstacles themselves. There are three types of obstacles in this game: ones to slide under, ones to jump over and ones that just block the path and end the game. The game prides itself on randomly generating different maps and obstacle combinations to keep the game “fresh,” which I can respect – unfortunately, those obstacle combinations are sometimes nearly impossible to maneuver, even at the beginning stages.
The final difficulty is in how repetitive the game is. For instance, there are only three sound effects in the game: footsteps, jumping and sliding. There are no other noises to be found in a game taking place in a city; no cars driving by, police sirens, distant jazz music … nothing. When I tried to play some music on my iPad to keep it somewhat entertaining during gameplay, opening the Endure 3D app turned the music off. This was really, really frustrating.
In addition, the graphics aren’t very special. The city background is dull and the buildings’ surfaces are grey and nondescript. Even the traceur looks unimpressive … and his shoes look like slipper socks.
I would also point out how the game only features a male character, but Mirror’s Edge only had a female character … so I’ll let that slide.
I can appreciate Angry Pirate Productions’ commitment to creating indie games outside the mainstream industry, but this one just doesn’t cut it. I do believe the company has potential, they just have to find it. Forgive the pun, but Endure 3D is just too hard to endure.
Here’s an App Store link for Endure 3D; it’s currently priced at $0.99.
Disclosure: A promo code for this game was provided by Angry Pirate Productions. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.