Look at that! Just look at that box art. Now tell me you wouldn’t buy that? I mean back then it looked rad, when I was a teenager it looked retro, and today it looks amazing. Never heard of it? Well neither did I before I first played it. Zero expectations means very low chance voc being disappointed. Oh sure the game could suck. That’s the risk of building a shoebox. You gotta try everything. Well you know what I mean. It’s about not being judgemental about how good a game is, but how fun. So is 3D World Runner good? No, how dare you even ask that. It’s a modestly known NES game, if it was good you would have known that already. Is it fun though? Oh baby yes!
You run and jump endlessly collecting stars and stuff. Oh it’s floaty and weird with a magic Game Over Worm that comes out when you die. That is until you get far enough to jump into the air, activate your rocket boots and show that thing how we do it downtown!
Yeah when you reach the end of each stage suddenly you decide hey, that’s enough. I’m just gonna go all Goku up in here and blam! It’s a rush compared to the relatively chill nature the rest of the stage had. Every death it’s right back to stage 1. Somethings kill ya when you touch ’em, other’s well, don’t. Figure it out. Well I said every death, but that’s not true. You got a few lives but dieing is so easy, and the game is very much trail and error. So I consider deaths hit points more than anything. The oddest part is how these runner games kinda had a false start. In many ways it’s typical of a modern mobile runner title. Just with no clear connecting line to say Temple Run or Crash Dash? I don’t remember that stupid Crash Bandicoot Runner game’s name. Hold on.
That’s right Crash on the Run was, well is, it’s name. Basically the same thing just way more polished. Though it’s craftsmanship comes at a price. A terrible microtransaction filled cost. Waiting for turn energy to refill before playing a stage, or paying money, is but one reason a game like that would never hit the shoebox. The rest well, it just loses it’s appeal when progress seems stalled. Unlike 3D World Runner where progress is literally just making it a touch further. A perfect run in World Hero has you beating the game in a little over half an hour. You could beat World Runner twice while waiting for something to do in Crash’s copy.
Though that’s the difference between paying sixty dollars up front or tossing dollars at your phone randomly when you get hooked or stuck. I mean I wouldn’t pay sixty bux for 3D World Runner. I wouldn’t even pay ten for that Bit Trip Runner, or whatever that Wiiware game was called. Most of the best Shoebox games come from titles I never would have bought full price. It is a fact I always have to remind myself when I am looking for a new game and nothing is standing out. I’d almost put World Runner as the perfect marriage between arcade and console game design. Fast paced and frantic, but with a difficulty based not around popping quarters. Rather it is a game that rewards learning all of its ins and outs. Which their aren’t much of in the first. It’s a game where be relaxed and just letting the controls come to you rather than planning it out. A game based more in reaction instead of action. A game that encourages being in the moment. Probably the reason I find it so relaxing if I am being honest. More of a platformer than anything else 3D World Runner requires learning a few specific paths in later stages. Much like the maze castles in Mario 1. Only with robot hands that will knock your dick in the dirt if you aren’t absolutely perfect. This obviously leads to the game fitting in the Mario Bros 2 area of “I don’t care if I beat it” category. Yet it’s hard enough to not need a self imposed challenge like seeing how far I can get in one life, or don’t grab power ups. No matter how many times I come back to it I find it just hard enough to be enjoyable as is. While it might not be the most memorable title on the list World Runner is definitely one of my more played titles on here.
This has to be one of my favorite titles to share with people. Yet when coming up with the concept of Video Game Shoebox for Action Couch Life it wasn’t even considered on my first protolist. I decided to toss it in when looking for new games others might not have played before, or likely never would try it. The way I do that is by simply playing every game in existence one by one until I find something worth a deeper exploration. So what about all those other titles? Well they will be showcased on our YouTube channel. Which ofcourse means let’s plug the Patreon!
Honestly contributions have made this possible and we are incredibly grateful for all the support. So rather than explain why we need the funding to grow I want to take this time to thank those who have kept us running so long and got us to finally getting a series put together. You all are the best.