S.T.U.N. Runner


Review by Joe Santulli



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 7

Dashing down a winding tunnel, I realized I was about to collide head-on with a pair of armored drones. That collision would mean I wouldn't finish the race in time. Acting quickly, I steered my craft up along the edge of the tunnel until I was upside-down, with only centrifugal force holding me in place. The drones passed beneath me, but now an even tougher challenge loomed ahead. A partially constructed tunnel with land-mines!

That's pretty much the scenario, as you partake in the race of the future. S.T.U.N. Runner has been ported over to the terrific Lynx game system, and it's hot. The hardware capabilities of the Lynx make the fast, furious action from the arcade a possibility in the palm of your hands. Narrow, winding tunnels, straightaways with ramps, forks in the road, debilitating obstacles... it's all here, and it's very hard to put down.

The game looks a bit different than the arcade counterpart, noticeably grainy and more cluttered. It could be that the designers tried to squeeze every element from the arcade version into the tiny screen, but the end result is often a pile of "things" on the track that cannot be distinguished. The scaling and perspective look great, though, to the point where I was tilting my head forward to look "over" places where the tunnel would suddenly drop straight down (like in the "Rollercoaster" level) because it seemed so real.

I was also disappointed with the responsiveness of the controls. Too often I felt like I wasn't moving as fast as I should have been. The acceleration is very slow at times, almost unpredictably so.

The challenge is well-paced, as the gamer can select level 1, 6, or 12 right from the start. Three continues allow you to re-start a course you couldn't finish. Take note, however, that everything always happens in the same sequence, making memorization an important part of mastery. S.T.U.N. Runner is in my opinion the best game for the Lynx since Blue Lightning, and that's saying a lot.

TIP: Remember where all of the speed boosts are. Many courses can't be completed unless you hit every one.


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Last updated: Friday, December 26, 2003 09:19 PM