Collecting gold, one dead goblin at a time.
What do a Hunter, Troll, Sheriff, pint-sized Twins and a Hobgoblin have in common? These five characters star in Gaijin Entertainment's free-to-play iPhone and iPad title, Run'n'Gun, an endless runner with snazzy visuals, plenty of gold coins to grab and a little combat for good measure, which is something we don't often see in these "infinite" games. There are some cool ideas at work, admittedly, though at the end of the day, it does little we haven't seen before.
As the story goes, what there is of it, some nasty goblins have made off with sacks of gold, and you attempt to grab as much loot as your virtual pockets can carry. To that end, the controls are both user friendly and familiar. Although you cannot stop a character from running unless you intentionally smack into something, you're able to swipe up to jump, down to slide and left/right to move in those directions. You'll need to use these basic controls to leap over barrels, dive underneath nets overflowing with objects and make split-second turns.
What separates Run'n'Gun from other endless runners is the option to kill enemies in the distance by tilting the device away from you, whereupon which the on-screen runner unloads his or her weapon. Each successful hit results in the goblin dropping coins, which you're free to snatch up. Once the creature dies, you move on to the next victim, even if it means chasing after a monster three times your size.
As we expected, the shooting breaks up the monotony of the endless running experience, but what's especially intriguing are the missions you can activate before playing that give you something else to strive for. These range from jumping/sliding a set number of times to killing a certain number of goblins, among others. Succeed, and you earn a reward.
Here's something even cooler. All of the playable characters possess unique abilities, in addition to the many power-ups you can activate during play. The Twins, for example, can run underneath obstructions without having to slide, while the Troll just smashes things to pieces.
Naturally, characters and power-ups cost either coins or crystals, so there's the whole in-app purchase option to consider, with prices ranging from $1.99 to $99.99. Of course, being that Run'n'Gun is free, opening the wallet is your decision.
The visuals, meanwhile, put you inside a village, creepy forest and other locations brimming with all sorts of details, like cobble stone streets and trees lush with greenery. The game's App Store description mentions inspiration drawn from Grimm Brothers' folk tales, but we've yet to make the connection.
On a side note, the game crashed on us a few times, so there should (hopefully) be an update in the near future to address this. For now, though, Run'n'Gun is a fun though unremarkable runner with just enough addictive pull to make it worth your time.
What's Hot:Shooting goblins, responsive touch controls, pretty environments, in-game missions, five characters with different abilities.
What's Not:Plays almost exactly like the endless running games that have come before it, prone to crash, cloudy connection to Grimm folk tales.