Updated: Angry Business Man Review

Angry Business Man has just received a major gameplay update that hugely improves the overall experience. The controls have been completely overhauled, and OpenFeint leaderboards now keep track of your high scores. In other words, if you like endless running games, Angry Business Man is now worth your time and money.

Prior to this update, the controls were a catastrophe. If you tilted the phone a little too far, your business man would sprint offscreen, which would end your game and make you want to break every fragile thing within reach. Now, keeping the angry business man onscreen is pretty simple to do, and it only becomes tricky when you’re running over cartoonishly impossibly terrain– which is exactly how it should be. Every time we died, it was because we had messed up.

This is still a one-button game that delivers pretty much the same experience every time you play. But it looks great, and striving for a stratospheric score is highly addictive. We should also note that the game makes you tilt your device 360-plus degrees to keep the business man reined in, and that’s a lot of fun, too.

Assuming that they’re trying to draw a parallel to Angry Birds, the title Angry Business Man is a bit misleading. Angry Business Man isn’t a physics puzzler– it’s an endless running game. But even calling it that is a stretch, because there’s nothing endless about it. In fact, every time you give it a shot, it will probably end very, very quickly.

But first let’s accentuate the positive: the game looks great. It takes place in a stylized shadow world that seems inspired by Mad Men’s title sequence. At the start of each run, an unlucky business man misses his bus and must sprint to catch it, or to get to work, or to do whatever it is characters in endless running games hope to do. But good looks are about the only thing going for this game.

Watch your step.

The rest of the experience is all questionable controls and teeth-grinding frustration. After the bus takes off without our hero, the screen moves forward at automatically at a set pace, which is somewhere in between how fast and how slow the angry business man (ABM) can run. Your job is to use tilt to control his speed so that he stays on the screen as it moves forward. The difficulty comes in when the ground starts to rise and fall and curl around, shaping itself into all manner of impossible formations.

And, really, it might be fun if the controls responded how you would expect them to. But they don’t. They’re horrible. Miscalculating a tilt will send the ABM careening off the screen, with no time to speed up or slow down. And since it’s all you can do to keep ABM on the screen, when they start throwing traffic cones in your path, you’re pretty much guaranteed to trip over them and end your run.

The final nail in the coffin is that the game has no leaderboards. Your high scores, no matter how impressive, are trapped on your device, viewable only by you and people nearby. Angry Business Man has style, but unless they smooth out the controls and add some much-needed leaderboards, stay away. Stay far, far away.

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