3-D World Runner (NES)

3-D World Runner Box Art

3-D World Runner

System: NES

Release Date: September 1987

Developer: Square

Publisher: Acclaim Entertainment

Genre: Action

Squaresoft apparently thought we needed a crappy Space Harrier ripoff, so they went ahead and made 3-D World Runner. Or… The 3-D Battles of World Runner if you want to go by the title screen.

Flying off to a bonus stage.

The controls are simple. Run faster by pressing up, slower by pressing down, move left and right with their corresponding buttons. You jump with the A Button and if you have collected the laser missiles, you can shoot with the B Button. You can even press the Select Button to play in 3-D! There are also some very limited invincibility items with the power potions and atomic power symbols. You can collect items by running into columns along the stages. Don’t grab the mushroom, though. Unlike in Mario, mushrooms kill you in 3-D World Runner.

Jumping on the stupid junior jumpers.

You’re on a mission across eight planets to defeat a gang of Alien Serpentbeasts. To get to them, you have to cross four stages full of enemies and jumping over canyons. I got really frustrated on world three when I kept missing these little jumper icons that you need to hit in order to make it across the extra long canyons. I even glitched the game out when it thought I was going to die, but I hit the jumper at the last second and music went out for the rest of the round. I made it to world four, saw a bunch of hands that stop you from going forward and decided that would do it for me.

Graphics: 2.0

The graphics are average. The forward scrolling is pretty decent.

Sound: 1.5

The music gets annoying and the sound effects aren’t great.

Gameplay: 1.5

I didn’t like the controls of having to hit the jump pads. If you touch up or down, you’re screwed.

Difficulty: 1.0

The harder levels are strict memorization. The hand blockers are cheap difficulty.

Fun Factor: 1.0

I didn’t have much fun with this, evidenced by me quitting before getting to the end.

Overall Grade: 1.4

3-D World Runner earns a D+. Despite an even score, Space Harrier was a better game than this.

3-D World Runner Video Review on YouTube