This Slick, Free Game Is Basically Canabalt Meets Archer

It takes a lot to stand out in the "runner" category of games these days. There are so many of these games, and only so many different ways a player can run, jump, and dodge their way to victory. That said, style goes a long way—and the new runner The Button Affair has got more than its share of style.


You can download The Button Affair for Mac or PC through the official site—it's technically free, though I'd say it's worth throwing the developers a couple bucks, since the game is pretty cool. The art style evokes the opening credits of Mad Men (which itself evokes the clean art style of 1960s advertisements), while the story is pure Archer, with a hint of No One Lives Forever. Through a series of tongue-in-cheek cutscenes, we learn the story of the dashing rogue Enzo, who is determined to steal a jewel called "The Button." He's got the requisite lady love interests and arch enemy, and most all of his adventures end with him making a daring escape.

That's where the game picks up—the game gives you three controls—you can jump, roll, and go faster or slower. If you don't move quickly enough, Enzo meets his unceremonious end in a number of stylish, humorously violent ways—he's shot through the heart by a guard, or zapped by an electric fence, or vivisected by a glass door.


It's also different from most endless runners in that it's not actually endless—each level is the same every time, and there are even checkpoints you'll hit throughout. There's a real story, and the developers, Ollie Clarke, Jonathan Mann, Helana Santos and Chris Randle want you to see all of it.

Of note: I had some trouble getting the Mac version to unzip, but eventually got it to work by using the torrent file provided on the site. But however you download it, The Button Affair is worth your time. I mean, hey: I just described this game by saying "Archer" "Mad Men" "Canabalt" and "No One Lives Forever." Give it a play!

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