When it comes to parkour in video games, the more emphasized aspects of the activity are the running and jumping. But as you might guess from the title, Pocket Climber focuses more on the climbing. In a way, the game follows the basic ‘endless runner’ formula, except that instead of running, you’re climbing up a building. In that regard, it almost feels a little more like a webless recreation of Spider-Man or the Human Fly than actual Parkour. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just different.
That said, if you’re familiar with endless runners, the 3D kind in particular, then you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into here. Your character climbs up a building, usually with about three rows of windows to choose from. You encounter obstacles, such as overly-tall windows, closing windows, people throwing things out of their windows, and scaffolding, among other things. You have to avoid these obstacles with quick swipes of the touchscreen to the left or right or, to jump over certain obstacles, up.
Along the way, you pick up coins, which you’ll almost certainly need if you wish to continue climbing ever-higher after an encounter with an obstacle. However, if you spend your coins to do that, the cost will increase as you climb further, and that will leave you less to purchase various goodies from the shop, like helmets, jetpacks, and other goodies– including a female character (because Heaven forbid they give you that choice for free)– to enhance your skill set and appearance.
I am the vindow vasher.
As you might expect, there isn’t a whole lot of variety here. Sure, the obstacles are randomly generated, so that spices things up a little, but there are only two main textures of wall you come across as you continue your ascent up the tallest building in the world. All this really leaves for you is to try to top your best score and get as many of the game’s achievements as possible.
Simplicity aside, it does what it sets out to do well. The graphics are nice and the soundtrack, while not especially memorable, suits the game. The controls are responsive, though we had one slight issue with the way that moving left to right actually moves you at a diagonal angle, which can make timing some dodges a bit tricky.
Add to this the occasional situation where it feels like you’re trapped from all angles, and it can seem a little unfair at times. But since it’s randomly generated, all you can really do is just give it another try and hope for better luck the next time.
As time-wasters go, Pocket Climber does all right. It’s not bad by any means, but nor does it feel like it really excels. It’s a competent game that doesn’t reach too far or dig too deeply, providing an experience that’s fun enough for a few hours.