A GREAT GAME should excite, worry, delight and absorb players as often as possible. The endless runner genre brings all of that in spades - one moment you're patting yourself on the back after completing a move you thought impossible, and the next you're tumbling to your death wondering where it all went wrong. And then you're starting again from square one, in pursuit of your next high score.
The following games are our favourites, and they have eaten up a huge amount of our time in recent weeks, months and years, but if we've missed one of your favourites, let us know in the comments thread.
Canabalt has come a long way since it was first launched as a free flash game, [if you're playing it on Android - it hasn't come far at all on iOS having not received an update in two years] and is absolutely perfectly suited to small screen play. As a tuxedo-wearing super spy in a dystopian future, you have to perfectly time increasingly difficult jumps as your entire world crumbles around you.
There's no story to speak of, but you can make up your own reasons if you want. The music is superb and genuinely adds to the intensity; the game recommends you wear headphones for "maximum awesome" and we tend to agree.
On Android, there's a host of different level types, all randomly generated and all devilishly challenging after a short amount of time. Simple but pretty graphics round off what is one of the defining games of the endless runner genre.
You have stolen a jetpack powered by guns. Your name is Barry Steakfries. This is Halfbrick's ingenious Jetpack Joyride, and you have to play it. We found this by far the most addictive game on this list, due to a combination of challenging gameplay, a great leveling up system and excellent, randomly-assigned mini challenges.
In addition to the basic "flying a jetpack without crashing into anything" mechanic you also receive challenges which allow you to rank up and earn coins, with which you can buy character upgrades and, if you're feeling especially daring, new clothes for Barry. The challenges are a great metagame and really make you think about whether you want to compromise a potentially record-breaking run by obeying a task which makes you play like an idiot.
In-app purchases are available, but not mandatory - we found it more satisfying to earn all of our coins or win them in the end-of-game slot machine mini-game.
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