Vector Runner


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Rating: 4.7/5 (351 votes)
| Comments (22) | Views (845)

PsychotronicVector RunnerSure, nowadays 3-D technology doesn't impress us without realistic bump-mapping and 19 layers of translucent skin textures. But in the days of Tempest and Blaster, 3-D was all about making geometric objects fly quickly at your face. Hearken back to those adrenaline-happy days with Vector Runner, an arcade action driving game concerned purely with the sensation of speed.

You control a humble blue cube on its journey down a futuristic highway, dodging deadly pyramids of various shapes and sizes. The arrow keys steer the cube left and right, but its velocity is out of your hands. Wherever you need to be, you're going there fast. If you can catch them as they shoot by, colored cubes will give you extra points, restore your shields, or even grant you temporary invulnerability.

That's the whole game. The top ten high scores start at 105,000. Good luck.

Analysis: Undoubtedly, the in-house production team at Dig Your Own Grave drew heavy inspiration from Max Abernathy's Cubefield, but where Cubefield could be meditative or even psychedelic, Vector Runner focuses strictly on speeding up your heart rate. From the woosh of the passing structures, to the lurching tilt of the screen when you move, to the way the camera dips closer to the road every time you accelerate, every detail makes you feel lucky to be alive, considering how ridiculously fast you are traveling.

Aesthetically, Vector Runner is exactly what it needs to be. The relentless techno backbeat fits the pace of the game perfectly, but you can turn it off in favor of your own tunes if you like. The visual effects are stunning, in a retro-vector-graphics sort of way. There is nothing quite like having an EMP mine white out the screen just when you're about to enter a massive rush of pyramids.

There are actually not very many obstacles to avoid, compared to Cubefield and other games of this type, but that is where the game traps you. It is easy to become complacent, once you get used to the steering and pass safely through a couple of tricky situations. You're rocketing along, taking short, controlled turns, only risking your life for the most convenient bonus cubes. You're in control. Now is a good time to blink, or maybe take a deep breath.

And that's when you die.

Play Vector Runner

22 Comments

3212. I had like one sheild left and I twitched =(

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Phenomenal game. Here's me, seeing "every detail makes you feel lucky to be alive, considering how ridiculously fast you are traveling" and dismissing it. 3 minutes later, I'm standing up, my face no more than six inches from the screen, dodging triangles and hurtling myself toward the tiny cubes. In my opinion, this is one of the best games that have been reviewed here in a long while.

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This review struck me as very well-written.
Good work, Psychotronic!

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i managed 11255 on my second go.

i dig this. it's like some arcade nightmare designed to steal quarters from my pockets. now if only i wasn't at work and could play more.

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Very nice. This is the pure arcade that I like. I was relieved to discover that my ship would not fall off the edge. That made it a lot easier for rapid left/right movements.

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Not bad, but when you speed up the view changes. It seems that you get lower and can't the obstacles as well. Also the turning becomes more difficult.

14 stars out of 20.

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Gosh diddly-darn those bonus cubes are mighty tiny!

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28035 after a couple of tries. I ended up so close I was taking my glasses off.

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It, uh... doesn't work? It seems to load just fine, and then the "Enter to pause" gets stuck on the screen with "Auto-Accelerate" on top of it and... nothing happens.

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For some unknown reason the game does not seem to respond to my cursor keys :(

It's a standard keyboard, not a wireless and I had never had any trouble using it in any way, including with flash games.

Anyone any ideas what the problem might be?

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Have you tried refreshing the page? Sometimes my keyboard doesn't work on games, so I'll refresh or close and reopen the browser window and it'll work just fine.

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Hey everyone, glad to hear you're enjoying the game! And thanks for the great, well-written review Psychotronic. It's nice to know the hard work payed off. During the last week of development, every time I closed my eyes I saw red pyramids whizzing past my face.

So, Mr. LS - this problem you're describing I've heard from a few other people, but I haven't been able to reproduce it. It would help me a lot if you could let me know what Flash player version you're using, as well as the browser and OS you have. If you don't feel comfortable posting the information, but wouldn't mind emailing me, then feel free to drop me a line at contact[at]digyourowngrave[dot]com. I'd love to get that problem solved!

Oh, and bioLarzen, I know that the keyboard doesn't work in fullscreen mode if you have Firefox (that's a Dig Your Own Grave site bug) but it should work fine in regular mode. Maybe your game just lost focus. Try clicking on it?

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roseaddams and DYOG,

thanx for the ideas.

Refreshing didnt help, but DYOG's point seems on target: I tried in full screen mode using Firefox. Now I"'ll go and try in normal mode.

Thanx once again.

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Yeah, in normal mode it worked perfect!

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Boston Gamer December 22, 2007 12:05 AM

More than anything, this is a very nice atmospheric experience. I actually didn't like the game play very well, as I felt that games like Cubefield or Bubbles 2 are better examples of very similar concepts. Here, the controls are quite jerky (as is the rotating camera), and the gradually back-tilting perspective makes it nearly impossible to effectively view the field in advance as the speed increases.

So crank the volume, dim the lights, and go for a ride, but don't expect a compelling game.

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Game doesn't work for me. i collected a powercube and it doesn't resume racing. hmm.

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Hey fitz, what Flash player version you're using? Could you also let me know what browser and OS you have? If you don't feel comfortable posting the information, but wouldn't mind emailing me, then feel free to drop me a line at contact[at]digyourowngrave[dot]com.

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The controls ruined this game for me. There was a very noticeable delay between pressing the keys and the ship thing moving. That does not work for a fast paced game like this, it needs to respond instantly. It also seemed to move in very big jumps, making it hard to move precisely.

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Who else remembers Jet Slalom?

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....WOW.....

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crazypuzzler811 November 9, 2008 5:20 PM

I think ken is right, WOW.

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