Canabalt Review

in Video Games

Canabalt is an iDevice and web game from Semi Secret Software (@semisecret). Although the game was originally launched in 2009, it seems that not enough of you guys have heard about this wonderful piece of video-gaming software, so I thought that it was about time that you heard it straight from the mouth of one of our very own trusty geeks. Hopefully this post will introduce you to not only the game, but also the company behind it; Semi Secret Software.

Canabalt Review 1

So what makes Canabalt stand out?

The game is of such a simple design that it makes it extremely pleasing to the eyes. Adam Atomic spent two weekends designing the gameplay, writing the code drawing the artwork, and recording and designing the sound effects. As with the beauty of the Sega Genesis and Nintendo Entertainment system; The elegance of the graphics is in just how much you can do with a limited toolset yet the graphics of the game is still a piece of art in itself. The ‘pixel art’ style of Canabalt is something that makes the game pretty unique considering the graphics used in most recent games. It will remind fellow geeks of more simple times.


Something else that makes the game stand out is the simple ‘one button’ or ‘one tap’ system of playing. It’s something that anyone can play, and that’s the beauty of it; No confusing key codes or “Which button do I use to do this?!” moments. You simply tap on the screen, if you’re using an iDevice or tap on your track-pad or left-click your mouse if you’re using a laptop/MacBook or PC/Mac.

Canabalt Review 2

What does Canabalt sound like?

Canabalt has a unique soundtrack courtesy of Danny B. The music is something else that makes the game different from the majority of gaming software available today. It’s refreshing to hear something that’s completely unique to the game that you’re playing. You can check out some more of Danny B’s music by heading on over to As the game says; “For maximum awesome, headphones recommended.”

Three key features of Canabalt

  • Share your scores at the end of each run with your Twitter followers, by simply clicking on the Twitter icon that appears under ‘Game Over’. The tweet will specify which way the game stopped, which will make each tweet different in one way or the other.Canabalt Review 3
    Canabalt Review 4
  • Canabalt automatically shares your score with Game Center, and this helps you make your way up the leaderboard.
  • Try before you buy, by heading over to!

Canabalt proved it’s worth as a successful Flash-based web game and so the developers Adam Atomic and Eric Johnson decided that it was time to make the game more accessible to a wider audience by introducing it to the App Store and making it available to play on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. However, people are still playing the browser-based application which although is great for Canabalt‘s popularity, it’s not so great for Semi Secret Software’s servers. The browser-based game is using terrabytes of bandwidth per month, so purchasing the iOS version wouldn’t only mean that you can use it anywhere you go on your iDevice, but it would also give the servers a little nit of a rest too! You can purchase the full version of Canabalt, completely ad-free over at the App Store for a tiny $2.99, and trust me it’s completely worth the money!

Canabalt Review 5

I personally love Canabalt. I travel a lot between Scotland and Liverpool (England) and find that it’s a great companion for the long journey, not only does it prevent boredom, but it’s also a great way to start chatting to the people around you who are wondering why you keep randomly tapping on your iPhone screen every few seconds! It also generates a little buzz between your Twitter followers, they can either congratulate you on your high score or you can exchange some witty banter if you haven’t done quite as well as your friend who’s also playing Canabalt at the other side of the world.

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Hammy Havoc
Hammy Havoc
12 years ago

I love Canabalt so much. Without a doubt one of my favourite applications available for iOS.

Darren Christie
Darren Christie
12 years ago

Canabalt is a great game, and best part from my point of view is that the source code is free and open sourced. So folks can learn from it.
Well worth getting just reward them for that in point of view.

Hammy Havoc
Hammy Havoc
12 years ago

I wasn’t aware that Semi Secret had made it open source, but that is really very warm of them to do that. Thanks for sharing, I’ll probably go and take a look inside the source code later tonight.