Fun Run - Multiplayer Race iOS

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  1. Feb 20, 2013
    8
    Fun run is the type of casual racing game that will make you want to smash your smartphone with a sledgehammer. It’s easy for even theFun run is the type of casual racing game that will make you want to smash your smartphone with a sledgehammer. It’s easy for even the greenest of newbies to pick up, play and contend right out of the gate. However, this goes hand in hand with an unfortunate truth; as you learn the tracks, upgrade your runner and gain some prestigious character accessories, none of it is really worth jack.

    That is to say upgrades are strictly aesthetic and no matter how much knowledge and skill of the game you acquire, you’re always one booby trap away from last place.

    The game is a side-scrolling platformer/racer hybrid which brings you the chaotic action of MarioKart without the nuance. Actually, think more along the lines of the brilliant Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles time trials multiplayer mode.

    The description of Fun Run in the app store lead me to believe it would be an online smartphone version of this classic Sonic gem, and to be honest, it comes close. The differences lie in the dumbing-down of Fun Run. Unlike in Sonic, your character has no bearing on your performance everything is up to you and your reflexes. Instead of selecting a custom creature to match your play style, there are MarioKart-esque random item boxes to be picked up and used to inflict punishment on your opponents.

    Gory-cutesy is the theme of Fun Run. As you sprint through hills and cliffs in either the generic Forest world or the Candyland-clone locales, you’re always a half-second away from mutilation. Whether it be a spinning razor blade chopping you in two (exposing your bunny rabbit brains) or a lightning strike reducing you to ashes and a skull, the various boxes add some comical cartoon violence to the mix.

    However, the random item boxes are a mechanic that holds the game back at times. The razor blades often hinder whoever launches them more than anyone else, which can be annoying when you’re clinging to a narrow 1st place lead. Developer Dirtybit did take some thoughtful considerations with the boxes, though. For example if a player is in last place, they will be treated to a lot more lightning bolts and magnets (designed to pull all players who are ahead of them backwards), while first place racers get more bear traps and speed-ups.

    The game’s primary worth lies in the online mode. Matches are set up quickly and fluidly. They mimic a Call of Duty style of game selection. Four players assemble in a brief meeting room and the map can be voted on, anonymously. There is also an option to find matches with friends through Game Center. The rapidity of the online match setup makes it easy to forget that you only have a few minutes to get a couple of races in. You’ll often look up to find that you’ve blow an hour on Fun Run.

    The thrill of victory… The agony of defeat… When you win a race, you feel like you’re the next Dale Earnhardt. When you lose, it’s often because someone struck you with lightning 5 times in a row and you go from first to last, RIGHT in front of the finish line. This creates a sense of transcendentally high highs and hellishly frustrating lows. But as you know, this generally just adds to the addiction factor.

    My verdict: -

    CONS: There isn’t much customization beyond aesthetic tweaks and unlocking new character models. Any slight lag can make for a buggy finish line, so if you think you outtouched an opponent for first place… chances are you’re really pulling down the Silver. Level variety is virtually nonexistent Bland forest or cutesy candy world. PROS: Fun, CoD-style match setup. It’s deceptively addicting to win and slowly build up coins, unlocking the aforementioned meaningless character upgrades. It’s a fluid and fast interface that gets you right into the action without delay.

    SUGGESTIONS: Dirtybit should definitely make more iterations of this game, but include character customization or buying of new items. Allowing access to new boxes over time or as an unlock would be a big help.

    Overall, Fun Run is a very engrossing way to lose yourself in for a few races at a time.
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