PlaySide’s Boulder Jack Runs onto iOS

Boulder JackCatch the Ark developer PlaySide has announced the launch of Boulder Jack on iOS devices. The reverse endless runner sees players running at the screen, rather than away from it, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles across multiple lanes. The game was developed by a team including former EA Visceral employees, and doesn’t rely on one-hit-and-done mechanics. Instead, players can survive multiple hits as they run into obstacles, but the massive boulder chasing Jack gets closer each time players make a mistake.

In each run of Boulder Jack, players swipe left and right to move Jack between three lanes on the screen, while swiping up causes Jack to jump, and swiping down causes him to slide under obstacles. Coins and power-ups are scattered along the path, including magnet powers for instantly collecting all nearby coins and crystal skulls for temporary invincibility. Players can run over speed pads to distance themselves from the boulder, and must avoid barrels, crates, bombs, fences and other obstacles in the path in front of them.

The longer players run, the more environments they experience (jungle, beach, caves, etc.) and the more obstacles they’ll need to avoid. When players do finally fail, they can spend their collected coins or watch a video ad for a free second chance.

In between levels, players can spend their coins on upgrades or power-ups. A head-start upgrade, for instance, sends players freely down the path for a head-start on the boulder. Armor, meanwhile, allows Jack to take more hits from obstacles before it’s “game over.” These powers can be upgraded to increase their performance. In the case of the crystal skull pickup, as an example, it makes Jack’s invincibility last longer, while the head-start pickup would carry players for a longer amount of time, and so on. It should be noted, even after purchasing the headstart upgrades, players would still need to purchase an individual headstart boost before a game to activate it.

While these upgrades can be purchased with the free coins players earn while running, users can purchase additional coins with real money, in order to unlock these upgrades instantly. A coin doubler is also available for an in-app purchase of $4.99, which permanently doubles every collected coin after it’s purchased.

Boulder Jack is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store. The game is currently featured in the “Best New Games” area of the platform.