Run Roo Run is the newest release by 5th Cell, the makers of the much loved Scribblenauts. Recently featured as the app of the week in iTunes, this mobile game takes you platforming through the Australian Outback. In an comic book style intro we learn a mother kangaroo has lost her Joey to the poaching prowess of a lawless zoo and you are tasked with getting the poor kid back. Hopping across Australia, Run Roo Run is micro platformer full of obstacles and apparatuses. Each set of levels has a special hurtle mama roo must tackle to reach Sydney. Long jump tires, collapsing platforms, roo canons, moving cloud platforms and even invisibility all pile up to make each level unique, not that you will see it for long some levels take less than 2 secs to complete.
Because the game requires some precision jumping they help you out by placing arrows at your launch spots. The arrows help you fine tune your run, went a little too early on that one and impaled yourself on a spike? Just jump a bit after the marker on your next play through. The system isn’t needed for much of the game as most levels can be completed on the first try but once the extreme levels are unlocked the arrows are a boon.
The graphics are crisp and endearing, who doesn’t love a kangaroo in an bush hat. The one-touch gameplay is pleasurable and challenging but never really tips over in to addicting. Why? The levels run between 2 and 6 seconds to play. The short time commitment is great for getting in a level while riding the elevator but means there is little flow to speak of. Playing in such brief stints makes the game feel shallow if fun. While a good game, worth its current 99 cent price tag, it feels like a step backward in comparison to the new, surprising, and emergent gameplay of Scribblenauts.