Move it, slowpoke.
Mos Speedrun tasks you with guiding a colorful insect girl through a series of levels as fast as possible, making split second decisions to avoid enemies and spikes while leaping across chasms. It's cute, addictive and well designed, but before you achieve the best times, head to the options menu to make one very important switch.
A game like this requires user-friendly controls, and Mos Speedrun's default scheme fails to make the grade. The developer, Physmo, wants you to maneuver the character by tapping the left and right sides of the screen to move in those respective directions, then press both at the same time to jump, but it's too confusing, especially during the more intense moments that comprise roughly 95 percent of the game.
Instead, go with the d-pad controls and thank us later. This option puts left and right arrows on the screen, along with a jump button. It'll never replace a good old-fashioned control pad, but for an iPhone game, it works just fine.
Once you do that, Mos Speedrun becomes infinitely more enjoyable. Forcing a person to beat a stage as quickly as possible sends their adrenaline levels into orbit, while the designers included some nice little touches that make the App deeper than we expected. Not only will you unlock achievements, but you can also find hidden items. The coolest addition, though, is the ability to race against your ghosts, the characters that didn't reach the end; this reminds us of Super Meat Boy on Xbox 360.
In addition, the game has expertly designed levels, with plenty of platforms, ledges, gold coins to collect and well-placed enemies like zombies and aliens, all rendered using 8-bit graphics to give everything that NES look and feel.
Our only complaint? We cannot locate the Game Center leaderboards, which should've been integrated into the App. A game like this was built for online competition.
That said, the developers plan to update Mos Speedrun with more levels, so perhaps leaderboards will also make a welcome appearance. Even if they don't, though, the game's worth a look.
[Editor's Note: We'll re-evaluate the game once the online leaderboards are in place.]
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2.1 or later.
What's Hot: Addictive and fast paced play, retro graphics and music, solid d-pad controls, racing against ghosts, tracking down secret items.
What's Not: Leaderboards nowhere to be found, default control scheme ineffective.