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Sprinter Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Sprinter is a fun action game that mixes twitch gameplay with traditional stealth mechanics. While not very deep or involving, I was satisfied with both the story and challenge. Even when I felt like throwing the controller across the room, I stuck with it because I was legitimately interested in the plight of Lyle, Emily and Rosie. Rating: 71%
Sprinter
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Sprinter Sprinter Sprinter Sprinter
  • Review Score:

  • B
We're all running from something. Whether it's the choices we've made, the people we've wronged or the things we regret most, everybody has something they would like to escape. The cast of Sprinter knows this feeling well, and they have a unique way of dealing with their problems. Instead of going to counseling or confronting their demons, the cast of this brand new Steam game race through narrow hallways attempting to avoid guards and make it to the exit before time runs out. I don't know why it works, it just does.

Mixing twitch gameplay with traditional stealth mechanics, Sprinter feels like a cross between Hotline Miami and Metal Gear Solid. We control three characters as they run through a series of complicated obstacle courses. The object is to make it past guards, surveillance cameras, locked doors and even large pits, all in an attempt to make it to the finish line in time. Go over and you'll have to start the stage over from the start, doing everything you can to cut a few corners and shave off a second or two.


Instead of using a tranq gun or close-quarters combat, we use the various buttons and analog sticks to make it through the course safely. Runners can divert guards by pressing the "X" button, while avoiding cameras requires a flick of the right analog stick. Players will also need to pick up treasure and steal the guard's keys, both of which are done using the left trigger. By the end of the game you'll be jumping over large holes and slowing down time in order to make it through especially tricky obstacles.

Between stages, we're introduced to Emily and Lyle, a married couple with a daughter named Rosie. We see their history through a series of small photographs, each taking a snapshot from a different point in their lives. If you can't tell from the somber music, this story isn't exactly upbeat. When tragedy strikes the loving family, everything spirals out of control. It won't take long to understand what everybody is running from.

As heavy as the story is, I wish it was better reflected in the level designs. No matter who is running, they're always stuck in the same hallways and corridors. With the exception of new obstacles popping up, there isn't much to keep the levels from blurring together. I liked the simple art design, but found myself wanting more substance.

Sprinter (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

With only a couple dozen stages, it won't take long to complete Sprinter. The game starts out incredibly simple, but becomes devilishly difficult by the end. There are no checkpoints in the stages, so you'll need to memorize long button combinations in order to make it to the end safely. I found a few of the mechanics -- namely jumping -- to be incredibly awkward and would often ruin an otherwise solid run. For those who master the controls and can't get enough, completing each area will open up more challenging times to beat.

While not very deep or involving, I was satisfied with both the story and challenge. Even when I felt like throwing the controller across the room, I stuck with it because I was legitimately interested in the plight of Lyle, Emily and Rosie. I enjoyed cutting corners and shaving seconds off of my time, even when it felt like I was seeing the same obstacles level after level.
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