The endless runner, an offshoot of the platform genre, gained popularity on smartphones with the release of Canabalt, a 2D game where you leap across buildings to escape a collapsing city. However, it was the colorful, 3D Temple Run that created the template that most modern runners follow. As the genre evolved, it became much more complex than just “tap to jump, and swipe left or right to move,” thankfully. Blades of Brim has the most varied gameplay of any runner that I’ve played. Of course, you still have the option of playing it by just jumping and moving, but this Android action game has so much more to offer.
From the developers at SYBO comes Blades of Brim, an endless runner set in a fantasy world. You can unlock many warriors to play as, and they all have customizable weapons, equipment, and even pets. You unlock more content by collecting coins, orbs, and chests throughout each level, so there’s an extra incentive to keep your run going for as long as possible. Since it’s a free-to-play game, microtransactions are always an option, but I have no idea what the price ranges are because I’m always far more compelled to play another round than to buy orbs.
In addition to using these currencies to buy new items, you can also use them to upgrade the ones you already have. For example, you can improve a piece of equipment so it gains a magnet ability that activates when you double-jump, thereby drawing in all of the coins around you for a short time. There are plenty of skills like this that encourage you to change up your playstyle in order to reap extra rewards, making your equipment far from superficial.
As for the gameplay itself, you’ve probably already guessed what it’s like, being an endless runner and all, but let me assure you that you’re underestimating its depth. Not only do you jump and switch lanes like in most runners, but you can roll, run on walls, double-jump, do a side slash, pound the ground, and shoot lasers out of your pet’s face. Honestly, the aerial combos you can pull off are incredible. To someone watching over your shoulder, it would look like you’re a professional speedrunner.
Blades of Brim actually looks and plays like a Sonic the Hedgehog game if that series were to be rebooted with a fantasy setting (and wasn’t a frustrating mess like Sonic and the Black Knight). The gameplay similarities are plentiful: they’re both colorful and have vertically-inclined levels with branching paths. Plus, you can teleport to bonus stages in the middle of the level. Funnily enough, I’ve had significantly more fun with Blades of Brim than Sonic Dash, the endless runner that actually features Sonic. C’mon, Sega. Step it up.
I’m really wracking my brain trying to come up with negative things to say about Blades of Brim, but it’s honestly just fantastic. I suppose it takes a while to acquire currency, but that’s the price you (don’t) pay with free-to-play games. Smacking monsters with my swords and hammers is a lot more fun than getting new boots, so I suspect that this little nitpick will only affect impatient fashionistas. For everyone else, do yourself a favor by downloading the best endless runner I’ve played so far.
Blades of Brim is a robust endless runner than makes others in the genre look lazy.