There are some things that you shouldn’t do. Licking a frozen lamppost, picking your nose after handling hot pepper and running with scissors. Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season is all about running as quickly as possible with scissors. It is a 2-d side scrolling platformer with a definite own twist. Instead of any virtual sticks, keypads or one-touch controls you control by running with your fingers.
A race is waged against three AI controlled runners, and you have to make sure to keep your pace up. To run you slide two fingers up and down on the rights side of the screen. A meter at the top left shows your speed. Another meter at the bottom increases as you run making you able to jump, and fly. Obstacles show up, and you have to avoid them by jumping or better yet flying. You get a distance to the next upcoming obstacle giving you the opportunity to plan ahead. Above the jump/fly meter is a mini map showing how well you are doing as well as obstacles across the entire level.
It is quite fun to play Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season with the strategy elements found within. You can also place obstacles for your opponents to overcome by not touching the screen for awhile. This can easily be done while flying as you don’t have to flap your wings in the air. If you get behind initially it is often hard to catch the AI runners as there doesn’t seem to be any handicap system. If you are behind you are also target to the obstacles the AI runners can place.
Graphics are ok with a nice depth to a 2-d game. At times I think that there is simply too much information to keep track of on the screen. The little stick men runners with their scissors run like bats out of hell fully animated. The music is good with an eclectic mix of electronica and rock creating a dreamy lush atmosphere suitable for running with scissors.
A large part of Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season is customization of your runner. Name, colour and clothes are at your disposal to create a personal runner. Clothes are unlocked and bought using money you ear from racing. Different clothes affect the runner and obstacles on the courses differently, and it is quite fun experimenting to create the best runner possible. After each race you also scratch lottery tickets, and can be awarded new outfits as well. I think the scratch n’ win element is a bit slow disturbing the pace of the game somewhat.
Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season is an interesting concept giving your fingers and hands plenty of exercise. To me who have had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome the game is quite laborious, and I won’t play it more after doing this review. The short repetitious movements are more than I can handle. Most people won’t have any trouble playing Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season, but I wanted to mention it as a precaution. I only found two settings to run in, and there is no multiplayer or online functionality in the reviewed version. The App Store page promises online functionality through PLUS+, three new worlds and more outfits.
Until Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season gets online functionality added I am having a hard time recommending it. Just running by yourself against the AI isn’t fun in the long run. I think downloadable ghost runs or online multiplayer if possible would lift the game to new levels. Had it been a 99 cent game it would have been much easier to recommend for the novelty, but even at the dropped price to $2.99 it really needs more content to be worth it.
*Note. The game Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season has nothing to do with the notorious game developer Running With Scissors Inc. responsible for some of the most infantile gaming moments ever with Postal, Postal 2, and Postal 3. “I can’t feel my legs” is still one of my favourite game sounds found in Postal when an innocent bystander has been shot.