For the second time in a row the game of the month goes out to WiL; the ZZTer who is probably going to proclaim the title 'ZZTer of the year 2000'. Not too many good games were released this month. The only really high qualty ones were, in my opinion, Robert Pragt's "Interstellar Police" and the game we are talking about here: "Run-on". Let's hope 2001 will bring us more good ZZT games!
The storyline behind Run-on is actually kind of trivial: You assume the role of a guy who is hanging around in his yard, when suddenly he is filled with fear. A great darkness has overtaken this world, and is now chasing you. When it'll reach you, you are dead meat, so you only know one thing to do: to run, and to keep running on. Darkness is simulated in the game by the left wall of the screen. At the right wall of the screen, terrain is generated, so that you get the feeling that the screen 'scrolls' towards the right.
Run-on is a game in the genre that has its origin in this year: randomly generated games. It all started when LowerVP released the first episode of the game 'Dungeon Guru Nostalgia', somewhere during the first months of the year I believe. LowerVP and various others like CoolZx have been releasing randomly generated dungeon-games since then. Personally, I think WiL's contribution to the genre is a damn great one, possibly even the best. What makes Run-on so great is that it actually takes a really long time before it starts to get boring. Other random games tend to bore relatively quickly. (A good example, sorry CoolZx, is the 24HoZ game 'The Pits of Pythor - this one takes you through 30(!) more or less identical levels). Run-on, on the other hand, offers variation to the player. It offers four types of worlds, each with their own type of play: regular run-to-the-right, dark boards, boards scrolling in 4 directions and even a randomly generated side-scroller are challenges you will be offered... This all shows that next to being a damn good musician, WiL is a damn good programmer too.
Even though it is fun to play, Run-on is not a game to play in one afternoon. It's just way too long for that. The thing which is best to do is to play this game for a while, then save it, and continue later on... This way you actually have a game which is enjoyable for a couple of days!
Last, and in this case probably least too; the graphics of this game are pretty nice. Graphics are an issue that most random games greatly lack in and of course the randomly generated terrain itself cannot be made really beatiful, but the rest of the screen is often forgotten... not in WiL's game luckily. Overall, I really think that you should take a look at this masterpiece of programming.