Last week Line, Japan’s ever-popular mobile messaging app, released its newest game Run Run Hero for iOS. The game calls itself a ‘running action sprite RPG,’ but I’d rather call it short lived fun.
Run Run Hero will have you doing exactly what the title suggests: running to save the princess who is being held captive atop a mountain 2,000 meters away. This may not seem to be a great struggle, but there are heaps of obstacles, baddies, and bosses to take on along the way.
Your hero will run for as long as he or she still has stamina. This stamina is constantly drained either by running or taking a hit from an enemy, but can be restored by calling upon your ‘Wagon Mates’ or by collecting hearts along the road.
As for actual gameplay, you control neither your character’s speed nor attack, but rather which of the five rows you will be running in. The hero will automatically be swinging his weapon and shooting fireballs as often as he can, so you have to make sure he is kept out of danger.
You do start out rather weak and low on stamina, but the more you play the more levels you gain, getting you the strength necessary to continue. You will also collect gold, which can be used to, amongst other things, buy weapon upgrades.
Running with style
Run Run Hero is one charming little game that looks to be something straight out of the SNES. I instantly fell in love with the 2D sprite character designs and thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the different baddies you get to face. There is even a level of customization to Run Run Hero that lets you change the hairstyle, clothes, and weapons of your hero.
The game plays incredibly smooth and allows you to simultaneously switch between rows, collect all of your coins, and attack different enemies all in one swipe. Though there can be a lot going on in one screen, Run Run Hero handles it all like a champ. I was running this on my 3 year old iPod Touch, and had zero issues playing the game. I cannot stress enough how impressive this is.
The music did a really great job of making my adventures feel epic, and the sound effects were some of the most satisfying I have ever heard with an iOS game. The sound of picking up coins, slicing up a monster, or even just pressing buttons left me wanting to play more. Run Run Hero really did an outstanding job here.
The gameplay may be simple, but it is rather fun. Run Run Hero is challenging, gives you incentive to level up, and is just a joy to play through. Line even allows you to call upon a buddy and play through the game together, which adds significant replayability in my mind.
The classic look, fluid movements, epic music, and fun gameplay made playing through Run Run Hero a blast, but it was by no means a perfect gaming experience.
Loading… loading… loading…
If I had to describe my experience with Run Run Hero in one word, it would be ‘Loading.’ No matter what you do in the game, you are going to have a considerable load time, and to be honest, I just got sick of watching my characters run across the screen above the word ‘Loading.’
The constant loading screens are frustrating, but forgivable. What really hurts Run Run Hero is the lack of development in the game. As you play through the game, the monsters will become stronger, but nothing really changes. The game felt the exact same from the 1st meter until the end. Although there are RPG elements that added some longevity to the game, overall I found myself getting tired of playing rather quickly.
Still though, Run Run Hero will prove to be a lot of fun… for a limited amount of time.