Don't you just hate when you wake up and find out that the sun is exploding? Yeah, me too. What with the shock waves of the supernova and the imminent threat of incineration, it just about ruins your whole day. Then you have to pack up everything into the family rocket ship and blast to each world in your solar system, and because of the ever-approaching wall of flame, there's no time for sight-seeing. All you can do is try to stay one step ahead of the heat-death. Such is the premise of Run from the Sun, by FreakyZoid. And considering the title, it's kind of ironic that it's something you'll want to run towards as quickly as possible.
Run from the Sun is a horizontal-scrolling "race the screen" arcade game with simple mechanics and an engaging aesthetic. You rocket starts on a rotating Earth, and your ship launches with a click of the mouse or a press of the [spacebar]. You blast from planet to planet, keeping ahead of the explosions behind you, always making sure to land before your oxygen runs out. Extra points are scored by aiming for farther planets, using gravity to sling you towards a safe landing, collecting stars, narrowly missing meteors and spotting UFOs. Earning achievements unlocks ships with new abilities. And remember: as you walk away from the sun, try not to come slowly undone.
Run from the Sun is a bit reminiscent of earlier releases like Escape the Red Giant, but its art deco graphics and emphasis on timing makes it unique. Gameplay is fun, if a little repetitive, and inspires that certain "one-more-round" kind of addiction. I will say that the physics require some getting used to. The size of a planet doesn't really seem to give any indication of its gravity, making it hard to plan "gravitational sling-shots", as well as know how close you must get until you can land. Also, I wish that there had been some sort of "self-destruct" option: when a mis-aimed shot sends you careening out in to the black, it really breaks the flow to have to wait until your oxygen runs out. That said, despite its flaws, the game is quite enjoyable and should satisfy anyone looking for a bit of mindless arcadey fun. And since tomorrow may rain... go Run from the Sun!