The Regular Show gets a better than average running game.
Games based on popular cartoon series are nothing new on the App Store, and far from the sub-par franchise cash-ins that typically turn up on traditional consoles, these mobile games tend to impress with their devotion and attention to detail. Perhaps it's the simplicity of the control system, or perhaps it's because the experience need not be dragged out long enough to justify a $59.99 price tag.
Next up for the touchscreen treatment is Cartoon Network's Regular Show, and this new mobile game stars Muscle Man and Rigby in an auto-running romp through twenty different stages, as well as an endless mode. In terms of genre selection it's safe to say the game's playing things a little bit safe, then, but fortunately there's plenty of new tricks up its sleeve.
For a start, you're really taking charge of just one of these popular characters. Muscle Man blasts his way through refrigerators, oil drums and trash cans without taking so much as scratch, but you'll need to bounce Rigby off his back over these obstacles with careful taps of the screen. A single press sends him over small jumps, while double-taps propel him even higher. A tap on the left-hand side of the screen sends him leaning over the side of Muscle Man, so that he can survive runs through narrow pipes without taking damage.
If you do take a hit then you're going to lose a little bit of your energy meter, and the only way to top it back up is to grab the energy cans that are spread around each level. That's fun enough, but what really brightens up the game are the over-the-top power-ups activated when you grab a special kind of energy.
Those power-ups might cause Rigby to automatically bounce his way to great heights through the level, ignoring every obstacle in his way. A synthesizer might appear and blast away debris with laser-fire, or baby birds will carry the raccoon hero over the landscape while the energy currency automatically flows towards him. It's all good fun, and shakes up what might otherwise have become rather repetitive.
A cautionary note needs to be made for owners of older iOS hardware though. We found performance on our second-generation iPad to be a little choppy, particularly when those powerful upgrades come into play - it's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it can make timing those double-jumps a little trickier. Things became much smoother when we tested the game on a third-generation iPad, so those with the latest hardware should have nothing to fear.
We can't help but be affected by these performance discrepancies a little bit, but even taking them into account what we're left with is a very entertaining, if brief, running game that's sure to delight fans of the cartoon. We'd like to have seen more than 20 individual levels, and a little more variety in each of those for that matter, but otherwise it's another win for mobile cartoon gaming.
What's Hot:A decent bit of fan-service which should keep devotees entertained for a few hours. Great power-ups.
What's Not:Limited variety to be found in the rather small selection of levels. Some performance issues on older iOS hardware.