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Oh look, a weird free puzzler from the OlliOlli devs

Not a skateboard in sight

I’m hacking something, I think. I’m some kind of software entity, burrowing into a computer that doesn’t want me there. I can tell because of the security programs, which lumber towards me every time I take a step. My job is to avoid them for long enough to grab a data file, and then teleport out of dodge.

OlliOlli developers Roll7 have just released RunMe, a weird, free puzzle game that reminds me a lot of 868-Hack. 868-Hack was great, so that’s a promising comparison.

As the game’s Itch page says, it’s deliberately opaque. All Roll7 will tell you is that it’s “an esoteric turn based puzzle game with glitch graphics, weird sounds, and a bunch of strangeness”.

I’ve played for ten minutes, and can tell you a little more. It’s about outmanoeuvring digital pursuers, by paying attention to how they move and what their capabilities are. Your first foes move predictability, one square at a time, and can’t attack along diagonals. That means they’re easily dispatched with the simple attacks you start with, but they do instantly respawn. You’re better off thinking of them as obstacles to navigate rather than enemies that must be destroyed, which is very 868-Hack.

Between levels you get to buy powerful, one-off abilities, like firing projectiles in every direction or teleporting somewhere safe. It’s all very lean and minimalist, and set entirely within whatever digital underlayer you're supposed to be poking into. It's a strong look. Admirably simple, and very red.

Roll7 pitched this to publishers back in 2018, but moved on because they "couldn't really get the project going". "It's unlikely that we'll ever get the time or capacity to do much more with this game (unless there's a stack of interest on here)", they say, "so we thought it would be cool to just put it out and let people see where we got to."

That's a nice thought. Cheers, Roll7.

You can have a play yourself, for free, by grabbing RunMe from Itch.

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