Endless runners are a dime a dozen. Every game is a clone of sorts to either Subway Surfer or Temple Run. A previous endless running title that I found artistic and pleasing was Agent Dash, which released more than three years ago. Now there is Sky Dancer, a gorgeous, minimalist, title that is an engaging and refined experience.

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You play as a character known as Tharbadis, appears to be some kind of oriental martial artist with training and magical powers. The objective is to run down platforms, avoiding obstacles, collecting coins and jumping down onto other platforms. You spend as much time in the game falling from a higher platform to a lower one, as you spend running along one. Falling from one platform to another requires precise but slight controls.

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Navigating through the air towards the next platform is what makes this game stand out from other endless runners. You need to tap or hold on either side of the screen to move in that direction. Tapping or holding both sides at once makes you jump. There are no other controls. When you are falling, even a quick tap can make you go far. The strategy I came up with is move in the general direction of the platform at the start of the jump and make last minute adjustments at the very end.

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The music, the environment, the artwork are all soothing. The game does not have procedurally generated environments, but the combination of platforms make it seem like it is procedurally generated. There are atmospheric effects, you can start off the game at sunset and watch the moon rise as you work your way through platforms. You can collect orbs of light on the way to unlock additional characters. There are ten characters in the game as of now, the developers intend to add more.

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One clue about the sensibilities of the game is that you are immersed in the game entirely, without banner ads anywhere on the screen. The game is still ad supported, and the video ads are cleverly hidden behind an optional button that shows up when you die. You can either pay up some coin, or choose to watch an advertisement. Otherwise, the ads do not intrude on the game in any way. There are in-app purchases (IAP), you can get coin or characters. Users can grind their way through the game. This title is definitely worth checking out, and deserves a rating of at least a 4 on 5. Check out the gameplay video below.

Sky Dancer is available for free on Android and iOS.

Publish date: February 10, 2017 5:45 pm| Modified date: February 10, 2017 5:45 pm

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