Subway Surfers Tag Review: More of a makeover than a refresh – ABP Live | Hot Mobile Press

In the PUBG and Call of Duty era, they may not have had as much of a spotlight, but there was a time when endlessly running games dominated mobile gaming. These were notable as they were action-oriented games, actually played with the phone held vertically (in a “portrait” mode, so to speak), and very easy to learn – the main character kept running and you had to make sure they stayed running for as long as possible . Often there was no clear “end” to the game – you just kept running until you went off the road, were caught by a pursuer, or something happened that prevented you from running. Hence the name “endless runner”.

One of the most popular endless runners of all time was Subway Surfers. Almost everyone who has played games on their phone has heard of or played Subway Surfers at some point. Released in 2012, the game gained a cult following and was seen by many as a slightly fancier and cooler version of another “endless runner”, Temple Run. Subway Surfers was also a classic endless runner – you played a hip kid who spraypainted walls before being chased by a cop who didn’t appreciate your artistry.

You ran and surfed through subways, literally changing tracks, sliding under and jumping over obstacles, collecting coins and rewards for as long as you could until the long arm of the law finally got a hold of you.

The game was incredibly easy to play. All you had to do was tap and swipe (you could play it with one hand). It was bright and colorful in design and also accompanied by lively music. It garnered billions of downloads and was ranked by App Annie as the most downloaded game of the last decade and even inspired an animated series.

Subway Surfers day, it’s NOT you

The game now has a whole new version called Subway Surfers Tag. And it’s a new game in every sense of the word. So much so that Subway Surfer fans might not even recognize it as part of the series. There are some familiar faces (you can play as Jake, Tricky, Yutani and Fresh, each with their own special move), you’re still being chased by a cop and this time he’s got some robots on him. You still have rewards and coins to collect, and you still have your spray can and surfboard handy. But that’s where the similarity ends.

You realize that Subway Surfers Tag is a very different game from the classic Subway Surfers as soon as you load it. This is not a game designed to be played with one hand or in portrait/vertical mode. The game, like most action games, is now set in landscape mode, meaning you’ll need to hold your phone or tablet horizontally with one hand on each side. The perspective you get on the game is also very different. In classic Subway Surfers, your vantage point was literally behind your character’s back and the scene in front of you unfolded based on the progress they made. So suddenly things appeared – a train, an obstacle, the end of a track and so on. However, Subway Surfers Tag pretty much shows you everything in one fell swoop. You get a top-down view and can see where you can and can’t browse. There are fewer surprises here than the robots that appear out of nowhere.

The biggest change, however, is in the gameplay. Where in the original Subway Surfers you simply tapped the screen to make your character change directions, or swipe up or down to make them slide or jump, in Subway Surfers Tag you use an onscreen directional pad for control your character’s movements. You start each mission with some objectives to be fulfilled – collect a certain number of coins, destroy a certain number of robots, survive a certain amount of time and so on.

Less instinct, more planning makes for a smarter (but less fun) subway surfer

All of this adds up to an experience that’s entertaining but doesn’t really compare to the original Subway Surfer. The bars are still colorful and the music catchy as ever. But with the top-down view, the element of surprise that was a hallmark of the original is largely absent. In Subway Surfers Tag, not only do you think about running non-stop and collecting rewards, but also figuring out how to remove robots, jump on rails to earn extra points, dodge the guard, and there’s even an energy meter that you can use have to keep an eye on. In many ways, Subway Surfer Tags contains more strategy than action elements – since you can see the entire arena from the start, there are no split-second decisions to be made. So you can actually plan for what will please strategists but leave adrenaline junkies disappointed.

That really sums up Subway Surfer’s day and the new direction the game has taken. It’s a less instinctive and more planned game. Aside from the sudden appearance of robots (some of which will even propel you), you pretty much know where you’re going. There’s a light combat element, but that’s too easy – you can destroy robots through your spray can, but aiming is automatic, so you really can’t plan too much here. The element of surprise and survival that characterized the original isn’t as pronounced here. The focus in this game is more on completing missions and collecting rewards and less on good old fashioned survival.

You’ll get some fancy gear, but the gameplay remains largely the same across the different arenas. The arenas themselves are broadly similar too, with rails and platforms in most of them, although the colors and props change. More content is expected to be added to the game in the coming days, and since it’s exclusive to Apple Arcade at the time of writing, there are no ads and no in-app purchases, which at a time when You can, it’s a relief You’ll hardly spend more than five minutes playing a game without seeing an ad or getting a purchase suggestion (we’re looking at you, Diablo Immortal!)!

Give it a try, but remember, it’s nothing like the original

Subway Surfers Tag looks great and plays super smooth, and if you haven’t played the original Subway Surfers, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the new version.

However, those addicted to the original title probably won’t be too impressed. It’s just a very different approach to the game – more of a rework from the ground up than a refresh. We just hope this is a temporary step away from this super addictive original format, and somewhere in the distance lurks a Subway Surfers 2 with all the frenetic weirdness of the first and then some.

Subway Surfers Tag is free on Apple Arcade and currently only available for iOS devices. And from what we’ve heard, it’s not coming to Android very soon either. If you have an iOS device and an Apple Arcade subscription, try Subway Surfers Tag now. Remember: It’s nothing like the original.

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