Canabalt has remained one of the original and most enduring endless racing games – it even ended up in the Museum of Modern Art. Today he is making an important change, because Canabalt HD is revamped on Android. A recent update added a slew of new levels, which retain the basics of running and one-button jumping, but vary the environment or the way your character moves: in one, you’ll find that all of them your running surfaces have become invisible, and you will need to move around measuring where the birds have landed. Beyond that, there’s also a new two-player mode that lets you and a friend go head-to-head by tapping on opposite sides of the screen; it is not ideal for a phone, but a tablet can work better.
Two players Canabalt has been around for some time on some arcade machines, and the Ouya version of Canabalt includes it, but this is the first time we’ve seen the option on mobile, where most people will play the game. There’s also a small addition, but never seen before: a female character. When you start the game, you will randomly receive a male or female model, designated mainly by the length of the hair. There’s been a lot of talk about female characters or the lack of them in games, and doing a simple swap that people will see frequently is a really good way to add gender parity.
On the one hand, this means that Canabalt HD isn’t quite the stripped-down runner we love anymore. On the other hand, after spending a number of hours rushing towards your inevitable death, you begin to hope for a little more to explore. The update is available on Google Play; we haven’t seen any signs yet that this is the non-HD iOS version.