Review: I’ve Got to Run!

Keep on steppin’…

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 06/04/2014 10:00 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Catchy music; precise controls; Endless Special most innovative and entertaining mode; leaderboards add some replay value.
Poison Mushroom for...
Monotonous gameplay; little challenge; crude backgrounds.

Endless runners have gotten a bad rap over the years. With mobile games like Temple Run and Subway Surfers having been repeatedly and soullessly replicated ad nauseum, many a player has come to look at any new release in the genre with a weary eye. Enter developer 4 Corner Games, which has attempted to break the stigma with I’ve Got to Run!, its entry into the runner wars. While Run does offer three game modes and online leaderboards, the title suffers from bland presentation and little challenge. Run can be fun in spurts, but with minimal variety in its gameplay and art direction, there’s not much here to keep players coming back for more.

Players control Roy the Marshmallow Boy through endless and randomly generated levels. Run features three game modes; Endless Classic, Endless Double, and Endless Special. Classic is a straightforward run across a multitude of deadly chasms, while Double adds a double-jump and deadlier pitfalls. Special, though, keeps the double-jump and higher difficulty, but also incorporates red and green pickups that make the screen scroll slower or faster, respectively. The game displays on the TV screen and the GamePad simultaneously, so off-screen play is simply a matter of, well, shutting off the TV. To jump, players can either hit a button or tap the touch screen. Sounds good so far, but once gameplay starts, the monotony sets in.

The problem isn’t that Run controls poorly. With only the ability to jump (which is a touch floaty), there’s not much to get wrong, after all. That’s it for gameplay, by the way; Roy jumps, and nothing else. The problem instead stems from the gameplay itself. While there are three modes to choose from, Classic and Double are devoid of any real challenge. It’s just mindless jumping with no need for skill beyond avoiding the holes in the ground. The one mode that is worth playing is Special, which switches things up with the aforementioned pickups. Still, it suffers from the game’s other big problem, which is its flat and tired aesthetics. Backgrounds are comprised of seemingly unrelated imagery of kitchens, space, and a medieval castle. These backdrops aren’t interchangeable, either; each mode has one, and it repeats forever. The music is one part of the presentation that gets it right, as it’s catchy and not irritating. It’s not enough to make Run any less dull, unfortunately.

Scoring is based on distance traveled, which is then posted onto Run‘s leaderboards. Seeing other players’ scores is some incentive to go back and shoot for a higher one, but the gameplay just isn’t enough to suck a person in for another go. I didn’t dislike my time with Run, but it wasn’t particularly engaging, either. It’s a barebones experience that’s mired by a lack of ambition. There aren’t a ton of endless runners on Wii U, so anyone who’s been hankering for one can do worse than Run, but not by much.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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