They say to never judge a book by its cover. But sometimes you can look at a game and have a pretty good idea what you’re going to get. Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha is one such game. The self proclaimed “hard, action packed acrobatic platformer” pretty much does what it says on the tin.
Glam is the pink haired hero on a mission to save her mother from an evil witch who has taken her captive, in an effort to suppress her powers. Don’t worry too much about keeping up with the story, as this is purely background to the fairly lengthy platforming gameplay. You’ll face over 220 levels in single player, split across eleven chapters.
Glam has a few tricks up her sleeve, the main one being swinging from branches by using her hair. She can also jump, climb and wall jump to get around the numerous tricky levels on offer. Each level is something of an obstacle course which tasks you with crossing from one side to another. There are also bonus cassette tapes to collect in many of the levels.
This is where my main issue lies with Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha. The control scheme is inaccurate, and utterly frustrating. Glam is heavy weighted but also slippy to control, meaning you’ll often overstep into spikes or other hazards. You only have to go near a spike and you’ve had it. Also, Glam will sometimes fail to grab onto a wall or swing from a branch, sending her plummeting to an early grave. I have no issue with difficult platformers, but the challenge here is for all the wrong reasons. The margin for error is pretty much zero.
This contradiction is why Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha is so frustrating. The levels are designed to require pinpoint accuracy from the player, but the control setup does very little to support this. As a result you’ll die an awful lot, but thankfully there is no real penalty for doing so. You’ll just be zapped back to the start of the level.
In fairness, there are a lot of levels in Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha, which is good value for money in one sense as the game is priced at a reasonable £4.19. However, ideas are in short supply and before long the levels slip into a repetitive, frustrating rhythm which isn’t much fun to play through at all. A handful of basic mechanics such as switch controlled platforms, and weighted pulleys are used over and over again.
The lack of variety means there are too many levels to make the game enjoyable for any sustainable period of time. It ends up feeling more like an endurance test than anything else, and my patience ran dangerously thin. Even collecting the bonus tapes isn’t worth the hassle as you aren’t really rewarded for doing so. Before long you’ll give up even trying to collect these.
Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha looks pretty average too, going for that retro platformer style like countless others have adopted over the years. However, like the gameplay itself the environments lack variety, cycling through a handful of designs with each chapter. There are a few customisation options for Glam, including changing her jewellery, hair and boots. However, these changes are limited to small dashes of colour, her initial style remains the same.
There are also sixty multiplayer levels on offer if you want to get a friend involved. This is a pretty similar affair to the single player mode, complete with all the issues that come with it.
Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha is a fundamentally flawed game which offers something for the platforming sadists out there, but not enough to recommend it to everyone else.
Glam’s Incredible Run: Escape from Dukha is available from the Xbox Store