The Endless runner genre seems to get plenty of attention from indie developers, and with the popularity of Shred It on Android, iPhone and Windows phones there’s little surprise to see it release on Xbox One.
Shred it see’s you take control of a snowboarder, and in true endless fashion, take to the slopes on a never ending journey to collect leaves, acorns and paper-clips.
Initially the paper stylized graphics will catch your attention, and you’d be forgiven for being shocked by how impressive they are for a £7.99 title, the detail and authenticity of the 2D backgrounds in a 3D world and the adorable box styles characters are worthy of your attention.
There’s 3 modes in general, and while sadly none of them touch adversarial racing, you do get the choice of heading down an endless slope, an endless slope where if hit, you’ll just jump back onto the ice, or a not so endless slope against a time limit.
On each mode you can collect leaves which depict your score and how well you’ve done. There’s also golden feathers floating around, where (If you collect 3 from an area) will give you a small bonus section with leaf piles rather than a few individual leaves scattered across the path.
The other main collectible is Paper-clips, this is the currency used for opening new characters, outfits and boards, so it’s worth performing jumps when you see a ramp, or knocking into owls or collecting acorns to build up your paper-clips.
Sadly there unlocks are considerably underwhelming, outfits and boards make no difference other than an aesthetic make-over, and while the characters have their benefits these take considerably longer to unlock either using paper-clips or pre-allocated challenges.
The Penguins are small enough you never need to slide under a branch, the Astronaut can double-jump, and the dog will bark to scare away animals which free’s up more acorns to collect, When you unlock a new character there’s no reason to go back, and if you find a preference its safe to say you’ll never touch the others again. This makes purchasing outfits and boards a complete waste of paper-clips as they’re locked to each character.
As we’ve touched on earlier, Shred it is certainly pleasing on the eye, and sound effects are good enough to leave me without much criticism, but sadly there’s a major deal breaker and that’s the controls.
Easy enough to get to grips with, ‘A’ will jump and ‘B’ will slide, you then move left and right using the left stick to navigate past logs, animals, bridges and gaps which vary the longer you survive.
Unfortunately, as easy as they might be to learn, the developers got a few things very wrong, firstly responsiveness is literally all over the place sometimes you seem to glide across the snow, others it feels like your being dragged through it backwards, and the slightest close landing (such as ‘almost’ hitting a log) and you’ll find your character just glides, no control, until they either snap out of their daydream, or smash face first into an obstacle.