First Impressions: 10 Second Run
Posted by Sean Aaron
Running on the run
Whilst the Japanese DSi Shop features some fairly robust gaming experiences it has to be said that there's a place for quick games that can be played in a few seconds. G-Mode's 10 Second Run is a perfect example, essentially a collection of dozens of short platforming levels for when you need a quick bit of running and jumping on the go.
There are 50 levels to be played in three different ways. The regular game requires you to move your man from start to glowing exit in under ten seconds. Though stages do become steadily more difficult, you can play them in any order and view the entire level layout in miniature (along with your best time and number of lives lost in achieving it) at the level select screen.
You have unlimited lives, so the only thing stopping you will be your own skills and tolerance for frustration. Your character has limited mid-air movement and will take longer leaps the longer you press the button, so the platforming aspect is quite solid. Aside from "gaps of doom" and floating platforms there are flaming areas and roaming enemies to avoid, which become more common in later levels. All the action takes place in the upper screen, whilst a giant timer occupies the lower screen. The gameplay is fast and addictive: reaching the goal with only a few hundredths of a second to spare is incredibly satisfying.
If the pressure's too much you can play the levels in Training Mode, where there's no time limit (though your best times are still recorded), giving you a chance to get the lay of the land. There's also a Marathon Mode in which you progress through all the levels back-to-back until you get through them all or get tired of seeing "FAILURE" on your screen. The only thing recorded for posterity is the number of lives lost to-date on your marathons.
It's quite a fun little number and great to break out when you want to play something that doesn't have a big time commitment attached. The minimalist art style and bright primary colours give it a great look and there's a hyperactive synth track to keep you pumped and moving. We don't think any G-Mode games have shown up in DSi shops outside of Japan so this might be an import-only affair, but it's definitely a game that has cross-border appeal, so hopefully G-Mode or some other enterprising publisher will see fit to localise it.