A great number of iPhone games cleverly take advantage of the device’s music-playing capabilities, allowing players to use their personal tune libraries as the soundtrack to their games. Others, like the upcoming Tune Runner from Appy Entertainment, use the music as in-game content — dynamically generating levels and challenges from the rhythm and sound. In the same vein as Song Summoner or Audiosurf, Tune Runner is hoping to coax players to literally lose themselves in the music, guiding the Groov-EE the Dancing Boom Box through levels generated from their own songs.
Each level includes dynamically generated backdrops, with props and skylines which pulse and dance in time with the currently playing song. Certainly, such visual plug-ins for music players have existed in the past, but a precious few are both interactive and generated from one’s own library. What’s more, Tune Runner utilizes OpenFeint achievements and leaderboards, so players will be able to see who is running to which tunes, and get an idea of their OpenFeint friends’ musical tastes.
Interestingly enough, Tune Runner is intended for a free release at launch, but Appy Entertainment has included a new sort of ad-based gameplay system: Players who download Tune Runner will have a limited number of play credits available, and if they wish to keep playing past those, they can either pay to upgrade to a premium version, or else earn more credits through a mini-game with cycling banner ads.
Tune Runner is still in the beta phase, and while it already shows some potential, I look eagerly forward to seeing where else the gameplay can go in terms of syncing to my music when it’s ready to launch.
Full Disclosure: Appy Entertainment asked if I would like to try the beta version of Tune Runners, and I said, “Sure.” They provided me with a free copy, which comes with more of the aforementioned ‘play credits’ than usual.