Agony and ecstasy.
The most interesting thing that can be said about Line Runner 2 is that in the first five minutes of play you will absolutely loathe it, and then fifteen minutes later you'll be more absorbed in this simple running game than any big-budget mobile title can hope to achieve.
The core gameplay couldn't be simpler. Your character runs automatically from left to right, as you approach rigidly square obstacles. A tap of the left-hand side of the screen rolls your character under danger, while pressing the right-hand side of the screen causes him to jump. The longer you hold the button down, the further he leaps.
You need these skills to tackle the steady stream of squares that come your way. You might need short hops to get over obstacles placed a certain distance apart. Alternatively, a longer jump might line you up better for later obstacles. The game constantly challenges you to adapt to its environment, and some of those blocks even move around the screen as you approach them.
It's a game that demands ninja-like reflexes of you, and an intensity of concentration unlike anything else in mobile gaming. Your eyes will be glued to a point somewhere on the right-hand third of the screen, eying up those fiendish blocks - will they drop down and force a jump? Will they rise up and require you to roll? How do I handle the next jump in order to deal with the next unpredictable challenge?
And that's really how you pass from the early moments of frustration to fiendish delight. You can pick up various upgrades in the cash store that might shield you from the results of an errant jump, or a coin magnet that draws the delicious loot towards you - but we prefer to play the game pure, and without any kind of enhancements. The pleasure of sharpening your reflexes against the raw game is, for us, where Line Runner 2's really at - and you can even share clips of your greatest triumphs online.
It will take you weeks to master the many fixed courses of the game, and whether the unexpected and rapid enthusiasm for the game fades back to frustration is something we'll only discover over time. Until that moment comes though, you can spend your hard-earned currency on different environmental themes or simply buy cosmetic upgrades for your ninja.
Line Runner 2 isn't perfect - while the challenge is a menacing yet satisfying one to overcome, there's a distinct lack of variety in the obstacle types, and there's more that could have been done to spice up that challenge and keep it fresh. But it is something very different and unashamedly tough in the runner genre, and for those reasons alone we encourage you to both try, and persevere, with this fiendish game.
What's Hot:A tough but satisfying runner title that will keep even the best gamers on their toes.
What's Not:We'd like to have seen more variety in the challenge types.