Canabalt (2009) is a side-on running game where you press jump at the right time to keep a small character from falling off buildings or crashing into things. With minimalist visuals, you play the small suited man fleeing from an unknown threat. As the game begins, the player character jumps from the window of an office building onto the roof of a neighbouring building. His running is automatic which just leaves it down to you to jump. As the game speeds up this gets increasingly difficult and relies on quick reflexes. There are no stages, so this is just a challenge for how long you can stay alive.
In 2013 the game was updated to include a female player character and the ability to compete with another player by tapping different sides of the screen. Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Canabalt 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 4 days ago.
5+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players need to have fast reactions and good observations. Provided they don't mind losing and trying again, even the very young can have fun with this. A good game to compete at a high score in the family.
Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.