App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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The endless runner has become a popular affair in the games market, with The App Store itself slowly witnessing a surge in the amount of newcomers. Buddy & Me, a 2D platform runner, is a unique take on the endless runner genre that explores the depths of a childhood imagination - taking youngsters and adults back to a time where the most innocent of ideas resulted in the most wild of fantasies.
Slightly reminiscent of "The Never-Ending Story," Buddy & Me is the story of a young boy who, upon falling asleep at night, dreams up a mysterious fantasy world in which a giant, friendly, smiling yellow creature asks him to come out and play. What ensues is an enjoyable run across tree houses and bridges leading deep into a mysterious forest. Though the game is potentially aimed at youngsters of the 9 to 11 year-old bracket, it is especially designed so that adults and children of any age will be able to enjoy the timeless experience.
However, though the world created by the developers is indeed charming and captivating, the gameplay itself has a lot to aspire to. Designed specifically for touch interfaces, the controls involve simply tapping to pilot the boy as he runs, jumps, and glides across a variety of platforms. Add in a number of obstacles to bounce and swing from, such as mushroom trampolines and ropes, and it pretty much says it all. Though the premise is exciting, and in short bursts the game is very much enjoyable, after the realization of a lack of levels and an onslaught of repetitive gameplay it becomes apparent that there isn’t much more that this little number can offer. It just simply gets tiresome, and old, rather quickly. For example, each run is limited to two minutes before the boy “wakes up”, and collecting a certain amount of stars is the only way to lengthen the experience, if only slightly. That said, an endless runner that employs an imaginary friend to guide and carry the player along the way is an exceptionally great asset to the game.
Though Buddy & Me is no doubt an attractive platform runner, and creates an immersive environment easily reminiscent of the fascinating fairytales we all know and love, it’s a game which becomes more repetitive, with the idea of replaying the same level not something that will appeal to everybody. However, this is a game that is worth it, if only for the experience of a beautiful world and a reason to feel what it is like to be a child once again.