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Playman Extreme Running
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File size: 178.49 kB
Description: The Playman brand, created by developer Mr Goodliving, is no newcomer to the mobile scene. Using the search function on this very site, you’ll find several reviews for other games in the Playman series dating all the way back to four years ago, when handsets were generally a lot less fancy than they are these days.
Real Network’s recent acquisition of Mr Goodliving could easily have seen a downturn in what has otherwise been a series offering rock-solid accessible sports games, so it’s interesting to see the series’ latest progeny, Playman Extreme Running, take things to completely new areas. Where before Playman games generally focused on the classic football and summer/winter games with a few common sense diversions, proceedings this time have a distinctly urban tinge to them, since the game uses the rather artistic sport of parkour/Free Running as a basis for gameplay.
Action takes place from a side view, giving the impression of your standard 2D platformer, but this game is anything but. It plays a lot more like a variant of the kind of urban sports games made popular by the Tony Hawk and friends series. You have to run about a cityscape performing all sorts of exotic tricks, using every part of the environment to your advantage. The game is split into twelve levels, each of which has several stages. Generally there’ll be about three per level, each focusing on a different objective. Either you’ll have to beat an opponent in a speed race across the level or you’ll have to collect a certain number of flags or points within a time limit. In other words it’s the standard fare for this type of urban sports game.
What puts Playman Extreme Running in a league of its own, however, is how good the controls feel. I should make it clear that this is by no means an easy game, and at points many of you may get frustrated at the slow progress you’re making, but the Free Running mechanics of the game are so well tuned that you really feel like you’re mastering a skill as you get better at the game.
This is largely down to the game’s excellent physics. You really can react to just about any surface in the game, whether you’re sliding down poles, leaping over extractor fans or jumping from side to side up the walls of an alley. The well structured level objectives are definitely a blessing, but sometimes just leaping around buildings pointlessly will be enough to entertain for the odd session.
The almost naturalistic feel may seem a little at odds with the cartoony graphics, but in practise the lightly stylised visuals suit the game perfectly. Although a lot of block colour is used, the environments are full of lovely little details that really help to differentiate one level environment from the next. The level of clarity is impressive too, meaning that while the game is hard, it’s not because you mistake a part of the foreground for the background, leading you to walk straight into a wall. Even when you are frustrated because you got pipped to the post by your free running rival, you’ll always know where you went wrong, and how you could have avoided the mistake.
One other thing that helps the difficulty from becoming an issue is that you don’t actually have to complete all stages to move onto the next level. Instead, each level requires a certain number of stages to be completed in total. Indeed some of the earlier stages, especially the score gathering ones, are very difficult to complete without learning more advanced skills taught later on in the game. This again increases the sense that you’re mastering a form, making progression all the more satisfying.
Although not quite as astounding as the other game elements already discussed, sound is fairly good for a mobile game too. In-game we are offered both sound effects and music. In isolation neither is excellent, but I applaud the attempt to include both, since it is a rare occurrence as many games take the easy option of just looping some simple background music in-game.
Playman Extreme Running is an excellent title that does the Playman brand proud. It’s a meaty challenge, offering an impressive amount of content alongside a difficulty curve that’ll make sure you’ll be coming back to it for a long time to come. You can even compete with another real-life player thanks to the pass-the-handset multiplayer mode. Run out and grab it!
Phone Compatibility Game:
Nokia Series 40:
3100, 3200, 3300
6100, 6200, 6230, 6560, 6610
Nokia Series 60:
3600, 3620, 3650, 3660
6600, 7610, 7650
Nokia N-Gage QD
Sony Ericsson F500i
Sony Ericsson K500(i)
Sony Ericsson K700(i)
Sony Ericsson Z500
Sony Ericsson Z600
Sony Ericsson Z1010
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playman extreme running
Sony Ericsson F500i
there is no jar file in the download
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