Jump to content

Was "Yoshi's Touch & Go" the first infinite runner? Or does another game predate it?


Recommended Posts

I recognize that other games have a similar format, i.e. you might argue that most arcade games are infinite runners, in that you go as far as you can until you die, but typically these games do not have the format points which often most define infinite runner games, namely that you cannot stop moving. The side view perspective is also a hallmark of the genre, but not a firm rule, so I'm not sure how far it counts.

I was playing it the other day and this idea came to me, curious what you all think of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moon Patrol is similar to Scramble in this context, but might be more properly described as a platformer.


I'm not sure what really defines an "infinite runner" game though, as I don't think I've ever played a game defined as such. Does it imply indirect control of the character, similar to Touch & Go?

Edited by Sumez
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So this “infinite runner” basically means a platformer where the screen automatically scrolls across?

Not quite, but very close, is Wonderboy. You’re essentially constantly running due to the time factor and your vitality being drained if not constantly grabbing more fruits. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yoshi's Touch and Go doesn't end at all (AFAIK) whereas games like B.C. or Scramble loop the same levels. I would've guessed it's Canabalt simply because that's the game that exploded the genre, but YT&G has a lot of the same qualities.

Most endless runners are a lot faster paced, so I'm not sure if that's part of the genre definition in a post-Canabalt world. When you get looser with the definition a lot of games could count like that helicopter cave game or SkiFree, so I bet we can come up with something before YT&G.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/29/2021 at 11:42 PM, OptOut said:

Never really got into Yoshi Touch and Go, felt more like a mini-game that would be included in a real Yoshi game, rather than its own stand alone thing.

I had the same feeling back when I got it. In my defense, I had an NDS at launch and didn't have anything to play on it beyond Mario and some multiplayer games. Returning to it now, I'm a fan of what it has going on, and it feels more interesting than when I was a kid. It's obviously a game you either enjoy or don't, and I don't think it has widespread appeal, but still I'd say it can be fun.


Given the discussion here, I think it's fair to say that the notion is pretty old, but then it bears defining a lot of factors as to how exactly an endless runner game is defined. The only constant I'd say is that it doesn't end until you die. I feel like many games fit that, so you would probably have to look at more games which people consider endless runners as opposed to just games that don't end, as otherwise you would miss the point of why people started to refer to certain games as that name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...