Collect coins and evade authority
Jump, roll, hover, and fly
The controls are familiar, but the game is still challenging.When you start up Subway Surfers the objective is immediately apparent: It's the classic game of cat and mouse, and in this instance you're the mouse. You're running through claustrophobic and hazard-riddled tunnels of the subway, collecting as many coins as possible as you do so. The controls on mobile are intuitive, moving left and right with a simple swipe, or jumping and rolling over obstacles by swiping up or down. The controls are familiar, but the game is still challenging.
As you race along the subway tracks things start to move faster, and a simple miscalculation can tragically end a great streak. There are ways to beg for a second chance, but you probably aren't going to like them; it either means watching an ad, or spending Keys (one form of in-game currency) to pick up where you left off. The more times you stumble in any one attempt, the more keys it'll take to revive yourself. And here the game descends into the predictable micro-transactions.
Nothing is really free, and Subway Surfers is predictably laden with ads and micro-transactions. To its credit, you are never required to make a purchase, though it's strongly encouraged if you want to increase your chance of winning. More keys means more revives, and for $9.99 you can net yourself a good 50 of them, enough to keep in the running for a while longer. Of course you can also gamble your coins on Token Boxes, another 'loot crate' system with randomized rewards. In-game coins (which you can also spend anywhere between $1.00 and $100.00 of real money on) can be spent to unlock additional characters, outfits, or flashy skateboards. Some characters aren't terribly expensive (like Lucy who is only 7,000), but others might take you a long while (Spike, Yutani, or Fresh all rely on luck of the draw through Token Boxes). A character like Boombot can only be unlocked if you do break down and spend money on the game.
If you're adamant about getting your in-game rewards without spending a cent, you'll have to keep a close watch on Daily Challenges and Weekly Hunts, which are ways of (albeit unpredictably) providing rewards for when you pull off specific moves. You'll also earn coins for downloading some of the games you'll be seeing in Subway Surfers' many advertisements - titles like June's Journey, World War Rising, or Coin Dozer. The game also desperately wants you to connect to your Facebook account, and promises a free character (Dino) and coin rewards for doing so.
Where can you run this program?
Subway Surf can run on iOS, Mac OS, Android, Microsoft Windows, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8, and Kindle.
Is there a better alternative?
Subway Surfers is probably one of the best endless runner games on mobile, but if you're a fan of the genre you might also check out Run Forrest Run, Alto's Adventure, Temple Run, or Temple Run 2, all of which are also free.
Subway Surfers has set a new bar for Endless Racers, and for that it should be commended.
Smooth, addicting gameplay is a staple of the genre, but you don't often get this much depth, player customization, or smooth gameplay. The core of the experience is fast, fun, and free - just the kind of race we we craving.
The game could benefit from a few additions. The randomly-generated obstacles is great, but wouldn't mind a change of scenery every now and again. Maybe taking a page from a game like Aquapark where the map style changes as you progress would freshen things up. It would be fun if there were a way to trip up the police officer, as right now he's either an immediate fail state or he's not present at all. He's also able to withstand oncoming trains at full speed, which is pretty immersion-breaking.
Should you download it?
Yes. It's a strong leading name in endless racers on mobile, and if that's your cup of tea this game's got it in spades.