Drop everything and try: Boson X

Dizzying endless runner will spin you right round, baby, right round, like a rec–, er, a sprinting scientist. Oh, just play it!
Boson X

What’s this, another endless running game? YAWN!

Oh, stop being so negative. This isn’t your typical running game featuring a licensed cartoon character or an Indiana Jones knock-off — this one features a scientist!

What’s the story, then?

Boson X

Inside a particle accelerator, a miniature Brian Cox dressed in a suit with charming elbow patches sprints for his academic life, leaping across gaping chasms and collecting energy from glowing blue strips that provide the power to discover new particles — and eventually the elusive Boson X.

We’re pretty sure this is entirely scientifically accurate, and a faithful recreation of what those clever boffins have been up to at the Large Hadron Collider, with their trainers and energy drinks.

So, it’s Canabalt in 3D, with a scientist?

Sort of. But this isn’t just Canabalt flipped 90 degrees — Boson X takes place on dizzying rotating tracks, where you tap left or right to switch lanes, or hold the screen to jump and hang in the air using special (but temporary) science levitation powers! Also, this is more like Canabalt meets ferocious twitch classic Super Hexagon.

The first particle accelerator is gentle, but merely lulls you into a false sense of security. Hit 100 per cent in the energy collection stakes and — BOOM! — everything speeds up and it feels like your little science guy has been abruptly catapulted by the world’s biggest elastic band. Some other particle accelerators start at this breakneck pace and add further hazards, such as deadly electricity bolts, disappearing sections of track, and whirling platforms that only settle at the last possible moment.

Super Hexagon? Ah. So this game’s basically impossible then?

Boson X

Only if you believe modern games should hold your hand as you amble about, one eye on the television. Boson X — like Super Hexagon — isn’t like that. Instead, it’s akin to something concocted by gaming legend Eugene Jarvis, demanding total attention; but it is possible to learn.

Bar the initial level, it might initially appear like Boson X is designed by a sadist, but like Super Hexagon, platforms don’t appear at random. Instead, each particle accelerator has a small number of repeating sections. The trick is to recognise them when they appear, and position yourself to best take advantage of upcoming energy strips.

Doesn’t that all get a bit repetitive?

Boson X

It does, but in the best tradition of classic arcade titles, Boson X never becomes tiresome. First, all six particle accelerators are very different, requiring unique strategies to master. Secondly — and more importantly — the game never ceases to be fun. It’s great to just have a quick go on (a typical run might only take a minute or two), and there’s always a high-score to chase and rival scientists to beat online.

Sounds good, but now I think about it, I’m pretty sure I read about Boson X a while ago in New Scientist. Or maybe Edge magazine

Boson X

That’s probably because it was already released on iOS and PC, but now it’s available on Android, meaning millions more people can get hopelessly addicted to science!