As I write this, my left thumb is completely sore from playing Dream Chaser, but it's the kind of nagging pain I don't regret. With its hypnotic feel and adrenaline fueled game play, Dream Chaser had me hooked for hours on end.

The game's moniker says it all, as it's up to a young spirit named Nito to bring dreaming back into the world by reclaiming the Tower of Dreams. If you want a little narrative to complement the endless runner, playing the game under Story Mode is the most obvious option. With Endless Mode, you don't get the introduction that details Nito's heroic quest.

Endless Mode, although it doesn't have any narrative to speak of, is perfect for gamers who just want to run and jump to their hearts content sans the dialogue. The game play is also more challenging, as Nito needs to speed his pace up and pass select Dream Gates by a certain time. If he doesn't get past a gate in the time allotted, the game is over.

The use of Dream Gates enables players to accomplish their respective goals in an expedient fashion. Although the game play may be intimidating with its rapid pace, learning to avoid blockades while running as fast as possible will easily prepare players for Story Mode which, though difficult in its own right, is easier to master. Unfortunately, Story Mode runs on the use of the heart system. Once you use up your hearts in the game, you will have to wait for more hearts to continue in Story Mode. Even though these items can be purchased through in game currency, waiting to start another game is a downright turn-off.

Dream Chaser's control system is easy to pick up. For Nito to run faster, players double tap the left side of their device as he collects these numerous dream orbs along the way. To have your hero jump over pitfalls and other obstacles, simply tap the right side of the screen. To have him move side to side, just tilt your device. Since acceleration is Nito's most important action, you'll be furiously double tapping your device until you're ready to put the game down. So if you like the game half as much as I do, get ready for some finger discomfort.

A little numbness is worth it considering Dream Chaser is totally addicting and enlivening. Once you make enough money to purchase upgrades, try the Destroyer. The power-up destroys everything in your path, save the dream orbs, and gives you a clear running path at least for a few seconds. And with the game's faster than a speeding bullet pace a few seconds of pure destruction helps level the playing field.

Armed with over 75 Game Center achievements to accomplish, a propulsive music score, and a first rate upgrade store, Dream Chaser is more than just a visually intriguing title. Coupled with its addicting game play, this endless runner is a total breath of fresh air, even if it does a number on your fingers.


App Store Link: Dream Chaser for iPhone and iPad | By Chillingo Ltd. | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 44.1 MB | Rating 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating