Run Roo Run
Hop across Australia in Scribblenauts creator 5th Cell's newest platform adventure.
Not sure if I'll ever make it to Australia. For starters, the flight seems unbearably long, and second, the abnormally large spiders give me the creeps.
For now, I'll just have to make due with Run Roo Run, the latest iPhone and iPad release from 5th Cell, the same talented group behind the award-winning Scribblenauts series.
Released to rave reviews, the game stars a mamma kangaroo that must travel from Perth to Sydney to rescue her captured Joey. What ensues are 420 plus levels of platforming fun, highlighted by attractive 2D graphics and user-friendly touch controls. So long as you get the timing down, things should go smoothly.
Instead of crafting a side-scrolling game with a handful of big stages, the developers broke everything into bite-sized levels, where the goal is to reach the end in the quickest time possible to receive a gold, silver or bronze star.
To play, you simply tap the screen to set the kangaroo in motion, then tap again to perform the desired action, be it jumping, double jumping (when the game allows), grabbing onto objects, hopping on moving clouds or bouncing off tires.
You do all these things (and more) to avoid hazards, like retracting spikes, debris and water, to name a few. Thankfully, you have some power-ups to help along the way, including one that slows down time and another that automatically beats the level, giving you a chance to move on; you can buy more of these through in-app purchase, but don't need them to beat the game.
Again, it's all in the timing, and while messing up results in a do-over (there's no death per se), the clock continues to run. The longer you take, the worse the results. Word of advice? Restart a board to reset the timer, then go for the gold.
I have to admit, the game's quite addictive, and perfect scores quickly became an obsession. On top of that, Run Roo Run has a great presentation, with relaxing music and colorful 2D visuals that help bring this cartoon representation of Australia to life.
My biggest complaint involves the difficulty, or lack thereof. Instead of introducing the game's intricacies during the first chapter, the designers spread them all throughout the game. What ensues are too many easy levels, where it takes but a few tries to score gold stars and move on; thankfully, "extreme" levels take considerably longer to figure out.
That ultimately makes Run Roo Run a pushover, as you'll probably beat the entire game in just a matter of days, perhaps a week. That said, 5th Cell still managed to create one of the better touch-based titles on the App Store that's appropriate for all ages, and the promise of new levels down the road should keep you playing well into next month. Should you download it? Easy answer. Just Roo it.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad.Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
What's Hot: Enjoyable touch based play, cute kangaroo, colorful 2D graphics bring cartoon Australia to life, over 420 levels with unique concepts, Game Center.
What's Not: Too easy, not universal.