Running with scissors is bad, but it is not remotely close to running with plasma swords in poor judgment. At times rules have to be broken, and this is such a time. Aliens, robots and other extra-terrestrial menacing creatures have invaded the Earth. It is up to a comic store geek called Cornelius to embrace his destiny, and start running.
Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword is a new take on the endless running genre. It fleshes out the formula by adding new moves, level progression, storyline and some upgrades in old school RPG fashion. Cornelius runs from left to right, and has to jump to avoid pits, robots and traps. He also has to duck under obstacles, and fight enemies with his sword. Buttons for jumping, sliding and attack are placed well with jump/slide to the left, and attack to the right. Once the game picks up speed it gets harder, and harder to keep track of the buttons. I am happy with just jumping about slashing for the most part.
There are two game modes in Don’t Run, and both are worthy of their own game. The endless running mode is exactly what it sounds like, but it adds the kind of missions that made Jetpack Joyride so darn addictive. Run a set length, kill a number of robots and other such easy to try once more objectives. The main story mode has a level progression interspersed with boss fights. This is really good fun having a goal, and moving closer to killing the main baddie. Levels aren’t randomized, and to some extent they can be learned.
Between levels, or deaths, you can upgrade the abilities of Cornelius. Adding extra height to the jumps, longer slides, more life or even more powerful attacks make the game feel fresh. Once I added the double jump ability the game opened up significantly. Every new upgrade affects the gameplay in some way. It makes an already quite addictive game even harder to put down. Experience is gained from slaying enemies, completing levels and picking up stars within the levels. You also get bonus XP for each day you play the game giving further incentive to start it up tomorrow again. You can also buy XP as IAP, but that is not needed to progress in the game. For online leaderboards, and achievements the game uses both Game Center and Openfeint.
The presentation is colourful, polished and filled with detail. This is perhaps my biggest concern, as the detailed backgrounds at times interfere with my view of the environment around Cornelius. The enemy robots are kind of boring, and could have been more bizarre considering the colour palette and subject matter. One thing that Don’t Run really accomplishes is being humorous. Loading screens tell you not to shave with a power sword for example. There are loads of these little fun diversions within the game, and the story in itself is fun.
The music is fifties horror/science fiction homage in its greatest form. It has been updated with more bass to the sounds, but still retains all the greatness of yore. Sound effects are ok, but can start to get on my nerves after extended sessions. I like the lightsaber sound as much as any nerd, but it still gets tedious.
Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword is a fun entry in the endless running genre that brings both storyline, and humour to the table. A bit too much graphics interferes with the game at times with too much detail, and backgrounds that are hard to tell apart from the levels. If you are sick of endless running games this is actually one that might be able to change your mind for a while. With both an endless mode with missions, and a proper storymode it is brimming with content.
Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword $0.99 Universal Binary for iPad/iPhone/iPod