G-Style once brought comical escape action to the Nintendo eShop in Alien on the Run, but, after a frantic dash to North America, it has taken two more years for their mischievous extra-terrestrial to scarper towards Europe.
Unexpectedly abducted by a UFO, Delude is desperate to return to his own planet and therefore hatches a plan to escape from his confines. That such a plan revolves around mindlessly running around the UFO destroying tractor beams that try to recapture you only adds to the game’s offbeat humour, and an idea that will see Delude scurrying around 17 areas that are distinct from one another.
These break down into quick burst levels that are well-suited to portable play, matched by easy to grasp gameplay mechanics. With the Circle Pad used for movement, slamming the B Button will see Delude dive to perform an Escape Dash. Then, once released, he can trigger Fever Action, an ability that can be used to take out the tractor beams that patrol the corridors.
Such skills will be necessary to escape each zone, the player guiding Delude’s mad dash toward a designated goal within the given time limit. Success will reward you with a S, A, B, C or D grade ranking, with higher ranks allowing you to unlock new parts of the UFO to run through. Failure is still something to contend with, whether that be from taking too long or being caught out by a tractor beam.
That is more the case with the purple tractor beams which, unlike yellow tractor beams, cannot be destroyed by using Fever Action. Throw in icy floors, roundabouts, punch boxes, and magnetic pads, and the difficulty soon ramps up beyond the relative ease seen within Alien on the Run’s early zones.
That isn’t to say that the game becomes entirely against you, with G-Style adding in launch arms and rolling wheels to speed your progress across each zone. Things are also switched up with punch bags and Fever Gates, obstacles that require rhythmic timing to surpass.
After clearing zones players can unlock new colours to customise Delude with, an Anti-Tractor Beam to become immune to such traps, and, eventually, the Escape Boost that can increase your running speed. This will encourage players to return to earlier zones to achieve faster times, adding a layer of replayability to the experience.
Alien on the Run presents a joyous romp through a UFO’s metallic confines, executed with particular precision and humour. Against a circus-like soundtrack those that dedicate their time to it can soon see the credits roll all too quickly, although, at the low price, it’s a concern that we can hardly hold against it.