4cr Plays – I’ve Got To Run
I’ve Got To Run is the first release from one-woman developer 4 Corner Games (Syrenne McNulty), and as you can tell from the name (and the trailer below) it’s a member of the Endless Runner family. It was developed thanks to the Nintendo Web Framework and is available at $1.99.
The game’s star is Roy the Marshmallow Boy (the name makes sense when you see what he looks like), and as you might expect, he runs until he can run no more. In order to make the most of his running time, Roy is constantly running to the right and jumping at the press of a button (or by touching the screen of the Wii U GamePad) to avoid falling into a bottomless pit.
I’ve Got To Run offers three game modes. Endless Classic which, just as the name implies, is as close as possible to the original endless runner formula. You only have to worry about judging the distance of each jump you make in order to keep going as long as possible. The second mode, Endless Double is similar to Classic mode, but now Roy has access to a second jump after his first. However, this second jump is lower than the first though still offers enough extra air time for our marshmallow friend to live another day. Endless Special is the final mode and for this one, the double jump makes a return along with the “special” feature in the from of green and red power-ups available in the level that either increase or slowdown your speed (along with the game’s music). This provides a welcome change from how you’re expected to play the two previous modes.
All that being said, this game isn’t without it’s issues. The graphics are minimalist, and while I’m sure the developer could go back to work on them in order to provide an update with a patch (just like Blok Drop U did) the level of polish we’ve come to expect on indie WiiU titles is not here. There are also only 3 music tracks in the game (one for each mode) which gets repetitive. Even one extra song per mode would have made the game significantly better.
Also, the game features a static background. While this does help to keep you focused on the action, some small changes to the environment, or even having it utilize slow parallax scrolling as you run and jump would have offered a nice change in scenery. The one benefit of the static background is that it does help the game to run at a solid 60 frames per second, which means that when you miss a jump, it’s your fault and not the game’s.
One last thing that could help to make the game more versatile is the inclusion of obstacles or enemies (as is the case of other endless runners) so that the player has to worry about something else other than the numerous pits that must be avoided. The overall lack in variety really hurts I’ve Got To Run, especially when there are so many other endless running games out there with so much more polish.
Having said that, the game has two things going for it: the low price, and the brilliant use of Miiverse. Since your high-score is immediately added for each mode during the same play session, you can hit the + button at any time to go back to the main menu to access your high-score screen, hit the Home button and post said screen to Miiverse in order to compete with other users. The developer knew this would be addictive and would keep players coming back for more, which is why there’s even a sub-community on Miiverse just for uploading an image of your high-score. On that note, you should be warned that if you want to save your high-scores you must do so manually by tapping the Save button in the main menu, or else you will lose them if you close the game.
As I mentioned, I’ve Got To Run is a part of the Nintendo Web Framework group of games (in fact, it’s the second game to use said development environment), and it shows how easy it can be for developers to release a game on the Wii U. While the game is entertaining, there is definitely room for improving its design and looks, but the basic design is good enough to provide a few hours of gameplay thanks to its arcade nature and being able to instantly upload your high-score thanks to the clever use of Miiverse. I look forward to seeing how 4 Corner Games can improve the game to make its $1.99 price even more attractive, because Syrenne is working on more content that will be added to the game soon.
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