Safer Than Shotguns: Running With Rifles

An extremist scrape

How many of you are still playing Running With Rifles, the murky yet marvellous top-down tactical shooter Jim introduced you to a while back? Unless the answer is most of you, it’s not enough. Maybe you thought the game wouldn’t receive any significant updates for an age. I’m pleased to announce that you were very wrong indeed. So, stand corrected, chin up, and prepare to go forth and battle once more. This alpha 0.351 update doesn’t add tanks, planes or classes, it’s simply an evolution of the core concept, which is tiny armies of soldiers shooting each other. How do you make that more entertaining?

Improved map graphics mean you’ll have a better idea of where your little man is needed on the battlefield, which cuts down on some of the mindless running and gives a better sense of how dynamic the ongoing war is. Soon they’ll have to change the name to Fighting With Rifles. Battles also tend to be larger, though you’ll still have skirmishes, in part thanks to what appears to be a genuinely improved AI that picks its scraps more sensibly. There’s a lot more going on now and, most importantly, it’s more fun. Put that in the changelog. Here’s hoping for regular updates of this quality.


  1. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Ah. Nice!

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    This game does not take screenshots, but it’s pretty fascinating to play. Try it.

    • Heliocentric says:

      My hack always involved a camera for games which don’t support screen shooting :D

    • steviesteveo says:

      I think the main issue is, regardless of whether it internally supports screenshots or not, any images you manage to make of the game are going to be murky brown.

  3. Temple says:

    And may they keep the simplicity.

    AoS lost me when they started to get all fancy-fangled with map displays and having more than one weapon. And removing the need to press the jump key to get up hills.

    Wanted a WWI vibe in my low-fi shooter, not a WWII game.
    I’d take WWIII as well.

  4. ChainsawCharlie says:

    I played the earlier version and really enjoyed it. But will wait until there is full version. Have to deal with QA testing enough on my RL work.

  5. wodin says:

    Great little game…

  6. Njordsk says:

    I was expecting a Running with scissors pun

    Oh well…

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      The title pun for this article is exquisite, and kind of could reference Running With Scissors. Good work Adam.

  7. Nallen says:

    I didn’t understand this game what-so-ever. Would just run for a few seconds and die.

    • rayne117 says:

      That’s what real war is like sissy.

    • Astroman says:

      I generally like games like this but, yes, it felt like a huge waste of time.
      With Cannon Fodder you could see the enemy positions. You knew the task at hand. This is like 2 forces mindlessly running at each other… with rifles.

  8. Robsoie says:

    I missed the original article, and so discovered this little gem with this one.

    And the less i can say is that i am very impressed, and the potential is rather huge if the upcoming multiplayer will make it in next version.
    Once you get into a firefight and take cover with the little AI everywhere trying their best, you can see how great this game can become.

    There’s a nostalgic eighties Commando coin-op feel mixed with some tactical gameplay that actually works superbly within this.

  9. GenBanks says:

    I don’t fully understand the mechanics and I die a lot, but really enjoying it so far.

  10. loGi says:

    Looks interesting, but will wait until there’s multiplayer fun to be had.

  11. terry says:

    It’s a lot easier to find the war in this version. The AI still seems to have a time mantling trench walls, but I managed to posse up with a lethal invasion force of death and lobbed grenades until every base was won. It’s the first time I’ve managed to get a promotion in this game, so I’m chuffed. Good coffee break game.

  12. ineptjedibob says:

    “you’ll have a better idea of where your little man is needed on the battlefield”

    And in the game!

  13. Donncha O Caoimh says:

    Played it a bit and it was fun but I kept losing where my player was. I think that identifying colour needs to be red or something to really stand out from the other green players.