Air-Supply--1-Bit-Run---iOS-Review Air Supply: 1 Bit Run - iOS Review

   08/03/2011 at 08:08       Phil May       8 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
Source - Air Supply (on iTunes, 59p)
 - Air Supply, Quantum Sheep, IOS, All out of love, So lost without you

Well we wasted possibly the best pun we could make about this game when we talked about it last week. So now down to the serious business of playing Quantum Sheep's new spaced out 1-bit jumping game.

Canabalt has a lot to answer for in most cases. As soon as Charlie Brooker started eulogising about the run and runner, everyone seemed to hit the app store simultaneously with their own clone.

Most just used the same idea of letting the player run left to right, spasmodically twitch-jumping from time to time to save their arse from certain doom.

What QS has done with Air Supply is turned the run game into something a little more frantic.

An intrepid space explorer finds himself marooned on a barren alien world. With meagre supplies of oxygen, the poor little fellah has to run his butt off to make safe haven. Thankfully the alien world isn't quite as barren as he thought. The surface is peppered with hazards, but also with tiny air pockets he can utilise to stay alive a little bit longer.

He's not alone though. Alien astronauts will try and run him down. Huge chasms open up in front of him as he runs, and there's always the pervasive threat of nasty flying saucers dropping all manner of death-dealing machinery to contend with too.

For a game that's supposed to represent a quick ten minute blast, it's surprising how easy it is to soak up hour after hour playing Air Supply. There's the ever-present temptation to better your score (though there's no openFeint or Game Centre support, QS assure us that it might be on the cards for a future update). Unusually for a game that wears its retro stylings firmly on its sleeve there's also the constant attraction of 'seeing what's over the brow of the hill'. Levels are varied enough to make you wonder just how tough it can get later on, and what nastiness the alien world will throw at you next. 

Played on a 2G iPod Touch, the game plays smoothly and the simple controls (a jump button and a fire button) don't get in the way of the on-screen action (a nice touch is that once you know where they are and have played for a little while, the buttons gently fade away and become invisible).

A simple tap of the jump button will be enough to clear most obstacles, but double-tapping will give you a bit more of a vertical boost. The double-jump will save your arse so many times that you'll find it hard not to use it as standard.

Throughout each level, there are bonus stars to collect. Grabbing these is the secret to levelling up and seeing even more of what Air Supply has to offer. It's not as easy as it sounds though. Collecting bonus items when you're busily trying not to crash headlong into walls or pitch yourself into the stygian void is as tricky as rubbing your head, patting your stomach AND pleasuring your nearest and dearest all at the same time.

Air Supply is full of deliciously neat little touches, quite something for a game costing a meagre 59p. Despite the lack of social network or online support, there's plenty of fun to be had for the single player with achievements a-plenty to find as well as the lure of each episode of jump-shootery mayhem.

It's a great little game, and if your i-Device is already chock full of delicious little distractions like this, there's definitely room for one more in the shape of Air Supply. The extremely minor negative point I encountered was the slightly long load times on my touch 2G but you'll probably find better performance on higher spec i-devices.

Laugh at the sneaky sci-fi references (Elite FTW!), cry as your spaceman faceplants again and again and keep a keen eye on what Quantum Sheep get up to next. If it's as good as this, the talented wooly gathering deserve to become a strident force to be reckoned with on the app store.

User Comments:

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Quantumsheep - on 08/03/2011 at 19:32 wrote:
What a lovely review! Thank you! :D btw - I think you're the only person to get the Elite references - I'm glad *someone* did! :D

HairyArse - on 08/03/2011 at 20:09 wrote:
Just found a trailer for this and added it to the article. Looks great. QS - I'm jealous of your skills and would love to get involved in the development of an iPhone game.

DDevil - on 08/03/2011 at 20:49 wrote:
Really enjoying this as well. Well along in the process of unlocking everything.

One thing that bothers me though is the loading times... It really does take away from the immediacy of the game, and that can be a killer in the iOS market I reckon.

Quantumsheep - on 08/03/2011 at 20:59 wrote:
@Hairyarse - it's easier than you think if you have a Mac - PM me and I'll fill ya in!

@DDevil - yeah, sorry about that - it's quite horrible, loading time wise, on anything below a 3GS - what do you have?

Cheers guys for the comments! :D


DDevil - on 08/03/2011 at 22:40 wrote:
I have an iPod 2nd Generation. If only they weren't so arse-achingly expensive I'd buy a new one!

peej - on 10/03/2011 at 11:33 wrote:
I guess an initial long load is better than it loading mid-level. That could be a bit of a killer.

Tried the game on my boss's iPhone 4 and it's like shit off a shovel load-wise so DD I reckon we're just too out of date with our kit for stuff like this :)

Great stuff though, it's become as compulsive as Tiny Wings in a shorter time so it'll be staying on my 'pod for a long time to come.

DDevil - on 10/03/2011 at 18:16 wrote:
Yeah, I've decided to get a 4th gen iPod at the end of this month with a bonus I've got coming, so I'll be able to enjoy it then :-)

Espad - on 10/03/2011 at 18:46 wrote:
i didnt realise this was a home-grown game, purchased!

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Khanivor - In response to: Battle Chasers: Nightwar Review - 248day(s) ago.
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