30: The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner

Genre: Action

Developer: Square
Publisher: Acclaim
Year: 1987

Basic Idea: I’m guessing the inspiration for Forrest Gump.

Review:  A truly unique game, this is a must play by pretty much anyone, at least once.  The game is in third-person perspective and you run away from the screen.  You have no choice really, as the dude runs no matter what you do.  You can speed him up or slow him down,move left or right, and you can jump.  Avoiding enemies and chasms is pretty much all there is besides some perfunctory boss battles.  It sounds simple, but each level brings increasingly difficult challenges and is quite addicting.

The graphics are fairly drab, but well-detailed enough that there’s little confusion.  And, like Rad Racer (released a month later), the game has a 3-D mode that works if you have the glasses.  I never had a chance to do this (as it doesn’t work on emulators), but if it’s anything like the 3-D in Rad Racer, I hardly doubt it makes the game more enjoyable.  Unlike Rad Racer, this game doesn’t suck.

In fact, this is the only game Square made that I’m aware of in the non-RPG division that hasn’t sucked (King’s Knight — shudders).  It’s well known that Final Fantasy saved the company and I certainly can’t argue with the company’s direction.  But I wonder if they gave up on other genres too quickly.

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