Developer: Ravenous Games Inc
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Endless runners, or games that share the similar mechanics, have become rather ubiquitous on iOS. Seriously. They’re everywhere. So when Ravenous Games released their new title Random Runners, it was probably met with an eye roll or two. Is it worth venturing down a road so frequently traveled, or should is this the reboot that runners so desperately need?

IMG_0111Calling Random Runners an “endless runner,” is probably a bit unfair. In fact, the game itself actually has a full campaign that features a collection of standalone stages. Unfortunately that is about as far as things differentiate, because the core mechanics still involve running from the left side of the screen to the right, with no way to stop other than an untimely demise. The only way to prevent that from happening is jumping over, sliding under, or shooting a hole through anything that crosses the player’s path. Sound familiar? Oh, and there is also an endless runner mode thrown in for good measure.

In motion, the title plays almost exactly like every other game in the genre with one notable exception: the control issues. There are times when things get tense, and quick transitions between moves like a jump to a slide seem to forget about the slide altogether. Granted this is not something that occurs frequently enough to recreate with any level of consistency, but the malfunction is common enough to cast unnecessary doubt into the minds of players.

IMG_0107The concept of breaking up an endless runner into single stages isn’t a new idea, but it’s still executed quite well. Each level is difficult enough sink a decent amount of trial-and-error time into, while still not being impossible enough to deter the “maybe one more try” mentality that the genre thrives on. Delivering the action in bite-sized chunks is an ideal way to consume the repetitive frustration that will ultimately be inspired over each session.

Games like Random Runners are a dime a dozen on the App Store. With that considered, paying for an experience that has genuine issues is a bit ridiculous when there are far more polished options available. If a little coin is burning a hole in anyone’s pocket, there are certainly worse ways to spend a buck, but ultimately this may be a run worth avoiding.

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