Subway Surfers is an endless runner mobile game co-developed by Kiloo[1] and SYBO Games,[2] private companies based in Denmark. It is available on AndroidiOSKindle, and Windows Phone platforms and uses the Unity game engine.[3] In the game, players take the role of young graffiti artists who, upon being caught in the act of applying graffiti to (“tagging”) a metro railway site, run through the railroad tracks to escape from the inspector and his dog. As they run, they grab gold coins, power-ups and other items along the way while simultaneously dodging collisions with trains and other objects, and can also jump on top of the trains and surf with hoverboards to evade the capture until the character crashes on an obstacle, getting caught by the inspector or getting hit by a train. Special events, such as the Weekly Hunt, can result in in-game rewards and characters.

Subway Surfers was released on 24 May 2012[4] with updates based on seasonal holidays. Since January 2013, updates have been based on a “World Tour” theme, which updates the setting of the game every three (or four, usually for seasonal holidays) weeks.

In 2017, Subway Surfers was the most downloaded game across the globe.[5]

In March 2018, Subway Surfers became the first game on the Google Play Store to cross the one billion downloads threshold.[6] In May 2018, Subway Surfers crossed the two billion download mark.[7] App Annie reported Subway Surfers as the #2 downloaded game of all time in iOS App Store.[8]

In addition to the mobile game, SYBO Games introduced the Subway Surfers animated series and SUBSURF lifestyle brand. Subway Surfers is the most downloaded mobile game from 2012 to 2019.[1]


Subway Surfers is an endless runner video game. The game starts by tapping the touchscreen, while Jake (the game’s starter character) or any other character sprays graffiti on a train, and then gets caught in the act by the inspector and his dog, who starts chasing the character. While running, the player can swipe up, down, left, or right to avoid crashing into oncoming obstacles especially moving trains, poles, tunnel walls and barriers. By swiping rapidly as speed increases, more points can be acquired. A crash results in a game over, but the player can continue running by using keys. The player can collect various items such as coins, keys, score multipliers, super sneakers, jetpacks, magnets, mystery boxes and power jumpers. A power jumper provides combustion by launching up the character, while a jetpack has an ability to fly, a coin magnet that attracts all coins on the track, super sneakers that gives the ability to jump higher and a score multiplier that multiplies the score. Items, such as a hoverboard, allows the character to avoid collisions lasting about 30 seconds.

Daily Challenges and Weekly Hunts give rewards for unique movements throughout gameplay. Missions have various tasks measured by player accuracy. Up to 18 characters are unlocked using via coins, keys, in-game purchases, collecting specific items, or connecting to a Facebook account. Most characters have up to 2 different outfits. Meanwhile, up to 17 hoverboards can be unlocked with the same methods; each have different abilities that can assist the player. When the game updates to a new location, a new character and hoverboard will be available temporarily until the next update.


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 71/100[9]
Review scores
Publication Score
Gamezebo 3.5/5 stars[10]
Pocket Gamer 5/10[11]
TouchArcade 4/5 stars[12]
148Apps 4/5 stars[13]

Subway Surfers received decent reviews. Critics praised the game’s visual style and entertaining gameplay, but criticized it for its monotonous world and unresponsive controls. Review aggregator website Metacritic gave the game 71 out of 100 based on 8 reviews.[9]

Dan Griliopoulos of Pocket Gamer gave the game a score of 5 out of 10, praising the game’s fun gameplay and free access, but criticizing the game’s controls and parsimonious game design.[11]

Gamezebo‘s Dant Rambo scored the game 3.5 out of 5, writing “It makes little attempt to stand out from other endless runners, but it’s hard not to appreciate the polish of Subway Surfers. The controls are responsive, the gameplay is addictive, and it doesn’t try and force you into spending cash on in-game items.”[10]

Other reviewers were not as critical. 148Apps and TouchArcade gave the game 4/5.[13][12]

The game was nominated for “Action Game” and “Family & Kids Game” at the 2019 Webby Awards.[14]

Subway Surfers: The Animated Series[edit]

On 1 June 2018, a series of animated shorts debuted on SYBO Games’ YouTube channel. The 10 x 4 minute episodic series is scripted by Brent Friedman and Francesca Marie Smith and produced by Sander Schwartz. Chris Bartleman is supervising director and Michael Hegner is director. Denmark’s WilFilm provides post-production services. The series currently has 11 episodes.


  1. ^ “Subway Surfers”Kiloo. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  2. ^ “Subway Surfers” Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  3. ^ “Lords of the Underground – Subway Surfers by Sybo and Kiloo”Unity. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ “Subway Surfers”IGN. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  5. ^ “Netflix app tops revenue ranking” 15 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  6. ^ “Subway Surfers gets record 1 billion downloads on Google Play Store”AndroidAuthority. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  7. ^ Harris, Iain. “Subway Surfers sails past the two billion download mark” Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  8. ^ “Facebook tops most downloaded apps of all time” Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  9. Jump up to:a b “Subway Surfers for iPhone/iPad Reviews”MetacriticCBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  10. Jump up to:a b Rambo, Dant (30 May 2012). “Subway Surfers Review”Gamezebo. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  11. Jump up to:a b Griliopoulos, Dan (1 June 2012). “Subway Surfers Review”Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  12. Jump up to:a b Berthelson, Talor (5 June 2012). Subway Surfers’ Review – Endless Running Refined”TouchArcade. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  13. Jump up to:a b Kubba, Sinan (28 May 2012). “Subway Surfers Review”. 148Apps. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  14. ^ “2019 Winners”The Webby Awards. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.

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‘Subway Surfers’ First Game in History to Run Past One Billion Downloads on Google Play


SYBO Games Mar 15, 2018, 01:08 ET