Mega Run – Covers familiar ground, but does it well Mega Run Full view

Mega Run – Covers familiar ground, but does it well

by Philip Michaels , There s nothing in Mega Run that won t be familiar to anyone who s ever controlled anItalian-American plumber as he ran, jumped, and collected coins andpower-ups on his way through the Mushroom Kingdom. Which is not tosay that this iPhone and iPad side-scrolling platformer from Get Set Games isn t fun. It is. It just happens to use a very well-wornformula. And that formula features Redford, a little red critter you mayremember from such previous iOS games as Mega Jump (which, in itself, is a pretty solid execution of the platformjumping genre).

Redford s brother and sister have been captured bymonsters, and it s up to you to lead the little guy through 64stages spread out across four distinctive worlds. Redford moves inone direction only forward and he never stops running. So when hereaches obstacles yawning chasms, pillars, and a Praetorian guardof monsters you tap the screen to make him jump over any dangersor bumps in the road. Along the way, you ll collect coins, gems,and power-ups that can also help you get past your monster enemies. Running, Man: Help Redford collect coins, gems, and power-ups whileavoiding monsters and other obstacles as you make your way throughmultiple levels in Mega Run.

Again, there s nothing here that would shock or surprise anyonewho played Super Mario Bros. a quarter-century ago. So why doesMega Run succeed with something so striking familiar? The game sgraphics are pretty cute, for starters, and a bouncy soundtrackadds to the fun of the proceedings. Even Redford s scream as heplummets to his death is adorable if a little poignant.

Mega Runis just a really well-put-together game. Get Set also built in numerous ways to enjoy the game. Collectingcoins along the course helps you build up experience points; as yougain experience, you level up and unlock new characters andpower-ups that you purchase with the virtual coins you ve earnedin the game. Mega Jump uses the three-star rating system to gradeyour performance on each level, so there s plenty of incentive togo back and improve upon your score. It s also a challenge tocollect all three multicolored gems on each course especiallysince the layout varies every time you replay a level so that sanother way the game encourages replayability.

The controls in Mega Run are pretty simple to grasp: Tap the screento jump, with longer taps leading to higher jumps. But some playersmight find the controls a little unforgiving. To destroy monsters,for example, you jump on top of their heads and Mega Run expectsyou to land precisely on the top of their heads. Mistime your jump by just a little, andthe monsters will send poor Redford sprawling, most likely to hisdoom.

Another potential source of frustration is the game s lack ofcheckpoints. When Redford meets an untimely demise in Mega Run, yourestart the level from the beginning even if you wipe out in sightof the finish line. The game does offer Save Stars that bringRedford back to life at the point where he perished, but Save Starscan only be acquired through Mega Points. You earn those either bywatching in-app advertising or by purchasing them from within theapp.

(Or you can ignore the Save Stars entirely. I do, and ithasn t hampered my enjoyment of the game.) That said, Mega Run strikes a nice balance between its in-apppurchase system and just letting you play the game. You candownload Mega Run for free, play it without ever spending a dime ofreal money, and still enjoy yourself. Progressing through the gameunlocks new levels, and there are plenty of opportunities to grabcoins you can use for power-ups and other upgrades. More impatientplayers can pony up real cash to get those upgrades immediately.This is how game makers should approach the freemium model.

For iPhone and iPad users, though, all that matters is thegameplay, and Mega Run more than delivers on that front. It may notbreak new ground, but it offers all the thrills and spills aside-scrolling platform game should. [ editor Philip Michaels is old enough to remember SuperMario Bros. ].

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Nordic Mobile Game Score

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