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3-D WorldRunner [5 Screw]
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Alternate Title:3D World Runner
Console: Nintendo NES
Year: 1987
RFG ID #: U-027-S-00040-A
Part #: NES-WO-USA
UPC: 021481102014
Developer: Square
Publisher: Acclaim
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: Cartridge 1 Meg
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Collection Stats:

  • 231 of 7611 collectors (3%) have this game in their collection
  • 10 of 7611 collectors (0.1%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 2 of 7611 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

3-D WorldRunner is a third-person 3D action game for the NES. Graphically and stylistically, it is very similar to Sega's Space Harrier. As such, it is rather impressive and unique for its day. Optionally, players can press SELECT to trigger a "true" 3D mode. With a pair of classic red & blue 3D glasses, players can bring the action into a whole new dimension.

The game features eight different worlds in which to save captured pets, but unfortunately variety only comes in very limited color palette changes.


After glancing at the screenshots on the back of the box, one might mistake 3-D WorldRunner for a simple Space Harrier clone. And we won't even go into the art on the front. Is the laser coming out of his chest, or is the dragon shooting it? Never mind, I said I wouldn't.

3-D WorldRunner is not a clone of Space Harrier, and after playing it for more than a few seconds one learns that the only thing it shares with the Sega arcade title is the perspective. You play an unnamed character as he faces down the diabolical Grax the dragon (and his seven dragon brothers) as you seek to rid the solar system of their evil. You run forward, jumping over (and around) pits, obstacles, and baddies, and collecting a range of items and powerups (even running headfirst into poles to gain them). That is the gameplay in a nutshell. But that is the games greatest asset (save the music, maybe), as it doesn't take much to learn 3-D WorldRunners mechanics. But much like chess, you will spend a lot of time getting good at said mechanics, as the game is very hard. While the surface jumping appears to only be useful sailing over pits, it is actually one of the best defensive tactics to master. Basically, if you want to get far in this game, learn how to avoid danger by jumping.

An early Square game, 3-D WorldRunner is actually the first of their games to feature the 3D mode (accessible by wearing the included 3D glasses) and pressing the select button. Believe it or not, if you are able to do this (and see it), the effect isn't half bad. Certainly more so than Rad Racer. This is likely due to the bright and colorful graphics, much brighter than many other NES games from this era, which often tend to be muted and slightly washed out (much like some Commodore 64 games). The music is also very good and cartoony, with just the right amount of bounce. Shades of brilliance for sure, as the music was done by Nobuo Uematsu, who would go on to compose music in the first Final Fantasy, released later the same year (1987).

Overall, 3-D WorldRunner is a great game, with the only problem I can see being the high level of difficulty. The price is fair, and since red/cyan 3D shades are pretty cheap these days, trying it out in 3D is also very affordable as well as highly recommended.


Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo NES U S 3-D WorldRunner [3 Screw] Acclaim 1987 Action/Adventure
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Sega Master System U S Space Harrier Sega 1987 Shooter
Sega Master System U S Space Harrier 3-D Sega 1988 Shooter
Nintendo Famicom Disk System J S Tobidase Daisakusen DOG 1987 Action/Adventure
Game Trivia:

  • Supports the use of red/blue 3D glasses for an optional 3D play mode.
  • One of the few NES games to feature 3D graphics.
  • Released on the Famicom Disk System as Tobidase Daisakusen.
FAQ's/External Links:

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Last Updated: 2016-05-03 00:24:37
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