➟ Virtual Shackles explains science

Virtual Shackles is a webcomic about games by two guys that’s fast surpassing the original two-gamers webcomic, Penny Arcade. In today’s strip, they combine two games I’ve been playing a lot lately: Bit.Trip Runner (Nintendo WiiWare) and Robot Unicorn Attack (Flash, free & iPhone, $2.99).
Both games are variations of the winning formula that Canabalt (Flash, free) defined – a character constantly runs forward, and the player is in charge of making sure it jumps at the right time. Bit.Trip Runner throws dodging, leaping, and kicking into the mix, making for an insanely hard but hugely satisfying reflex tester. It also happens to be rendered as an homage to blocky-pixeled retro games. Robot Unicorn Attack is pure madness from Adult Swim: a metal unicorn (double)jumps amongst the clouds to Erasure’s “Always”. Do well, and sky dolphins leap with you. It’s the epic bombast of Peggle’s Ode to Joy sequence meets the wacky, more forgiving Japanese run-jumper, Tomena Sanner (WiiWare & iPhone, $1.99).


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