Core Runner is a fairly simple maze race game. In a randomly generated reactor, your goal is to guide your droid ship around the maze, evading contact with walls and other obstacles while trying to hack into as many purple and cyan computer consoles as necessary to disable the core.
You are aided by special powers of the droid ship. To use them, and also to replenish your force field and protect your hull against the hot radiation within the core itself, batteries have to be collected and stored, which happens when hacking into purple consoles. Blue consoles, on the other hand, may boost your force field when nearly charged. The field may recharge automatically when the temperature of the environment is low enough.
To start the game, press fire (space). This will randomly select a beginner size reactor. To select a specific reactor instead, use the keyboard to enter its PIN first, then press space. The pin has up to 5 digits, the last digit selects the size of the reactor (0 - easy, 4 - medium, 9 - hard), and the first 4 digits are random seed for that particular size. While entering the PIN, you may select an alternative ship using the strafe keys.
If you get any weird messages when trying to run the Windows version of the game, download the Visual C++ 2005 SP1 redistributable files.
To move the ship around, use cursor keys or the mouse for rotation, acceleration and decceleration. For turbo speed, hold the left shift key. To disable a console, simply drive over it. This will also give you a certain bonus, depending on the color of the console. Quickly disabling a series of consoles will increase this bonus.
Every console that you disable counts towards the end goal, to disable the reactor core. The progress indicator is in the top left corner of the screen. 90% of all consoles in the reactor must be disabled.
The droid ship is equipped with several utilities necessary to maintain a reactor core. The kinetic force field deflects the ship away from the hot walls to minimise contact and damage, however, it does not protect it against damage and heat. When the kinetic field is depleted, the droid is broken beyond repair and is disabled. Pressing ‘space’ immediately after that brings up the vehicle selection menu, however changing to another vehicle incurs additional time penalty.
The same kinetic field may be used to brake the vehicle. Press the fire button (space) once or a couple times, quickly, to achieve full stop. The brakes eat away some of the field’s energy, and will not activate if not enough of it is available.
F1 toggles between cruise (default) and manual control modes. In manual control mode, the camera rotates to align with your vehicle, maintaining a ‘1st person view’. Also, side thrusters may be used to strafe the vehicle, while in the cruise mode, they are automatically used to augment extra fast rotation, and may not be used by the player directly. In manual mode, rotation speed is limited, in navigation mode, it is not.
The remaining utilities are deflector shield, shrinker, ghost form, EMP and teleport (not yet implemented). They are all powered up by batteries which are collected by disabling the purple consoles. The number of batteries carried is indicated by the green bar on the right side of the screen. The utilities only become available when the number of batteries is sufficient, which is indicated by corresponding LEDs on the bottom of the screen turning red. Yellow color indicates the utility is currently enabled / being used. Any combination of utilities may be used at the same time, but that also means faster battery consumption.
The more batteries you carry around, the more resistant your kinetic force field becomes to core heat. Also, it recharges faster when temperature is less than 25%. The thermometer is next to the progress indicator.
Deflector shield. Switch on/off with ‘d’. Prevents damage from contact with walls and high temperature core heat. Batteries are spent while deflector shield is up.
Shrink. Switch on/off with ‘s’. Shrink the droid ship to fit into smaller spaces and corridors. Batteries are spent while the ship is shrunk.
Ghost form. Switch on/off with ‘g’. Allows passage through walls, but this will damage the force field. Batteries are spent while the ship is in ghost form.
EMP. Use with ‘e’. Will disable turbines next to the ship. Also, disables nearby consoles. This will count towards the reactor shutdown, but no bonus is gained.
F11 - F12 Decrease - increase brightness / neon intensity.
To play the game in window mode,
OBJECT Device = keyboard ATOM FIRE = LEFT_CTRL ATOM FIRE = RIGHT_CTRL ATOM BRAKE = SPACE ATOM AFTERBURN = LEFT_SHIFT ATOM AFTERBURN = RIGHT_SHIFT ATOM Deflector = 1 ATOM Shrink = 2 ATOM Ghost = 3 ATOM EMP = 4 ATOM Mark = 5 ATOM Teleport = 6 ATOM ACC = W ATOM STRAFE_L = A ATOM DCC = S ATOM STRAFE_R = D ATOM SWITCH = F1 ATOM BR_UP = F12 ATOM BR_DOWN = F11 ATOM PAUSE = TAB OBJECT Device = mouse INTEGER FIRE = 1 INTEGER NEXT = 2 INTEGER BRAKE = 3 INTEGER PREV = 4