More accurately: Jump Roo Jump
How do you bring originality to the Endless Runner genre in one easy stroke? Make it single screen, according to Scribblenauts developer 5th Cell. Run Roo Run does just that and instantly makes itself an App Store classic.
The brief, but beautifully crafted intro sets the story. Your young Joey has been captured and it's up to you to head across Australia from Perth to Sydney in order to rescue your baby. This means hopping over plenty of obstacles while using others to aid you in your quest.
Each screen requires you to move from the left to right hand side as quickly as possible, jumping over pretty much everything. At first it seems like a very simple mechanic that has a danger of outstaying its welcome, but after the first few stages new items and tricks are learnt to add depth to the single jump control.
One press on the screen performs a simple jump, pressing again will do a double jump for larger objects in your path, but only when the level shows a green marker to allow this. Jumping over tyres, fans and other helpful items will aid your jump further by providing height or speed. It's very simple to learn but the trick comes with timing your presses, just as it does in endless runners like Canabalt.
If you don't succeed on a level, the game throws you a bone by placing markers down where you last jumped. Completing the level is often a case of learning from your mistakes. It never feels overly harsh and replays often reward you with success. There is also the reward of the Extreme levels that are opened up once you complete a stage. These take a lot more effort to complete, but as they are optional it doesn't detract from the game for players who find them too much of a challenge.
Run Roo Run's art style runs along a similar line to their previous game, Scribblenauts. It's bright and colourful, but it also contains a lot of attention to detail. While you'll be concentrating on the objects in your path for the most part, the art in the background aids the overall presentation and yet is subtle enough to make the task ahead clear.
There are over 400 levels in the initial game, more being promised every week by the developers. That's an extremely good bundle for such a small price and should give most gamers plenty to work through. Add the challenging Extreme mode and you'll be playing this for a long time to come.
Run Roo Run takes a simple concept and creates a game full of depth, style and character. It's a perfect example of what can be achieved with a bit of imagination and a one touch control system.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 10
- Longevity: 9
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