On the very edge of known space, far from the star systems of man, dwells a race of highly intelligent, highly developed insectoids. The insectoids are a peaceful race who spend most of their time colonising barren, long dead, planets despite being under constant attack from the hostile Arachnoids.
To protect their colonies from attack, a large shield bubble is in operation around the cities. This shield prevents any large metallic objects such as Arachnoid stormtroopers getting through, but they require huge amounts of power. To keep the shields at full strength, there are several generators around the surface of the colony that need regular recharging.
To meet the need to recharge the shield generators, an elite group of insectoids was formed. Mounted on reptilian mounts called runners they had to patrol the perimeter of the colonies recharging any flat shield generators they come across. Destroying any Arachoid probes or hostile lifeforms which may have penetrated the shield.
Your runner is not impervious to damage and tends to lay down and die after a short period of time. So when one of your runners expires, you have to call up one of the four spares that each colony holds. You do this automatically by whistling. The sound effect for this is really great, and a whole lot better than the way I whistle.
At the top of the screen is a scanner which shows the location of the generators around the colony. If a generator is shown to be a steady green then everything is fine. If a generator is flashing green then it is close to failing, if it is flashing red then its batteries are flat and you had better get there to recharge it.
It's big. There's a great atmosphere as you bound around the colony blastin' at all and sundry. The landscape is brilliant, the parallax scrolling is excellent and the colour and design is lovely.
The sound comprises of the usual blast-'em-up noises, sometimes drowning out the steady thump thump of the runner's feet. When you are just getting up after being knocked off your runner, your little insect gets up and scratches his head, a little sequence which provides a great little sound effect.
Rimrunner is not an original game idea, but it does have lots of original touches. On the high score table, you get a large version of your insectoid, armed with a shotgun. When you select a letter he blasts it, then works the slide to chamber the next round.
I enjoyed Rimrunner, a nice piece of gratuitous violence never goes amiss with me. My only gripe is that there is not enough room for error. You have a set time limit within which you have to recharge all the generators, and unless you're careful you're not going to have enough time. There is a redeeming feature though you do get the chance to play the level again and again until you either run out of energy or you run out of runners.