The Higgs boson is known as “The God particle”, and is linked to the mechanism that gives mass to elementary particles that’s said to be a monumental discovery for particle physics. The particle was discovered thanks to a 17 mile long particle accelerator, and now there’s a new iOS game based on the simplest idea of this train of thought. Boson X is a new twist on an endless runner that is set within a particle accelerator, and pits you as a scientist running at high speeds. The environment you’re running through is a tube composed of various planks with no floor, or ceiling, and instead just a rotating series of planks spanning 360 degrees. Everything is moving at high speeds, and your goal is to collect energy while avoiding the numerous gaps.
The game is set-up like a 3D tunnel runner, but with more dangers due to the inconsistencies on what you can run on. Most environments have more gaps than planks to run on, and you’re continuously spinning to get to the next plank. There are specialized blue planks that generate energy as you run across them, and your goal is to fill the energy meter to 100% to discover the particle within a particular section. You simply need to keep running to come across enough energy planks, and once you reach 100%, you unlock a new particle to discover as well as a more challenging phase. There are six different particles to discover, giving you six different endless runs, with each one presenting a different arrangement to run through. Each one also has a unique design, and the 3D layouts are highly polished as you’re accelerating forward.
In Boson X, the environments piece together as you go flying in at high speeds to require split second reactions. Circumnavigating the accelerator tube is accomplished by tapping on either side of the screen to move left, and right with holding the screen allowing for jumps. It’s relatively simple, but the problem is that it’s surprisingly restrictive. You can’t move any direction once you leap in the air, so you can never course correct for a mistake. You also can’t move two sections with one jump, so when the level layout doesn’t give you a platform you jump to straight ahead, or directly to the left or right, you also lose. The base gameplay offers intense, high engaging action, but so many times you die because of what seems like poor level layout, or restrictive controls, rather than player error. Another problem is that once you reach 100% energy, there’s a new more intense mode, but the game doesn’t offer checkpoints to let you replay an endless mode at the 100% setting.
Boson X ($1.99, Universal) is a fast paced endless runner with a nice spin on things that is challenging above all else. With that said, there are some design flaws that detract from the overall experience making it worth considering for some tempered enjoyment.