After Earth is an endless running game based on the M. Night Shyamalan movie of the same name. Traditionally, games based on movies are not very good, but I’m pleased to report that After Earth is not horrible. It tries its best to create something different in the endless runner genre, but unless you’re already a fan, you may not be interested in what it has to offer.
After Earth starts by having you choose to be either a female or male ranger, and then you go through tutorials that introduce you to the swipe controls you’ll use to play the game. Already, the game presents some problems: Sluggish controls, weird camera angles, and an unforgiving checkpoint system are all ingredients in making this a somewhat tedious experience. Once you get past the tutorial stages, you can play through story missions or an endless Marathon Mode, but all that really changes is the environments.
Story missions unlock by fulfilling certain level and experience point requirements. Between missions, you can use the coins that you collect to purchase items from the in-game shop. Items include consumables that can heal you, give you a defense boost, or even revive you. Upgrade purchases can increase your attack power, your jumping and sliding range, or your health bar. Last is the premium category, which includes special levels you can unlock that will allow you to collect one gem a day.
Gems, of course, are the other form of currency that let you access the best items. They’re hard to come by, but thankfully you can use the coins that you collect to purchase most of the in game items, with the exception of the special levels, which is a little disappointing.
All in all, if you’re a fan of the endless runner genre, After Earth may be worth checking out. If you’re not, this game isn’t going to change your mind. The barrier of entry is low, so even if you’re new to the endless runner experience, or feel that the game may expand on the movie experience, there’s little risk to at least giving the game a try.