iPhone App Video Review: Run Roo Run

by Andrew Koziara

Run Roo Run is the latest game from development studio 5th Cell. They’ve always worked to create unique and original titles with high accessibility, and most of you probably know them as the people who brought us Scribblenauts Remix. This latest gem follows the same patterns, with creative gameplay, beautiful cartoony visuals, and a wide range of audience accessibility.

You play as a devoted and courageous little kangaroo. After the always evil mankind kidnaps your poor little Joey, you set off on a massive four thousand kilometer journey to get him back. Along the way, you’ll have to deal with all sorts of obstacles and strange items, and it’s quite the journey indeed. The gameplay is as simple as can be. You automatically run from left to right, always at the same pace, and you just have to tap the screen to jump when necessary. Don’t mistake me though; it gets much more complex and crazy than that. Each of the 20 sets of levels introduces some new mechanic. You’ll start with simple things, like bouncy tires, tire swings, double jump tokens, timed spike traps, and crumbling platforms, and eventually you’ll be dealing with teleporting tunnels, bouncy flying birds, cannons, rolling barrels, and even invisibility.

Each level is timed, and rewards you with a gold, silver or bronze medal. If you can complete a level without dying at all, you’ll usually get the gold time. Every time you die and restart, you’ll be able to see arrows that mark your previous jumps, so you can adjust accordingly until you get it down. Restarting is lightning fast and smooth, which is fantastic for a game like this. There are also special power-ups available. You can take a bus and skip a level if it’s too hard, or play the level in slow motion to help you get the timing down. You can buy more of these power-ups in-app, but they’re completely unnecessary and optional, so no worries.

After completing a regular set of 15 levels, you’ll unlock a set of six extreme levels. The regular levels are quite easy, and you can get through them in well under an hour if you don’t keep going back for the gold like I did. The extreme levels are so ridiculously challenging that I’m sure some of them are actually impossible, though I might just be terrible. The timer on a level doesn’t start until you tap the screen to go, and sometimes you’ll have to time the start of your run to coincide with the patterns of specific obstacles, and those can be quite harrowing. You’ll need to beat every extreme level to get the games true ending, so hopefully you’re just hardcore like that.

The art style is fantastic. Every object in the game looks like a sticker thanks to the white outlines, and it’s all very charming. The background music is nice and relaxing, and matches the game perfectly. Game Center leaderboards and achievements are supported as well. You can download this wonderful game for just one dollar, or you can pick up the HD version for two. Definitely don’t pass this one up.