Game Reviews

Run Sackboy! Run!

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Run Sackboy! Run!

Run Sackboy! Run! sees Sony continue its mission to bring impressive production values to mobile devices. But does this free to play endless runner go the extra mile, or just rely on its good looks to get by?

Out on iOS devices now, with Android and PlayStation Vita versions apparently on the way, Run Sackboy! Run! sees you take control of the adorable Sackboy as he attempts to outrun the Negativitron - essentially an angry vacuum cleaner, if you're not familiar with the franchise.

Played as a side-on endless runner, the controls will be familiar to most - tap to jump, tap and hold for a bigger jump, and swipe to the right for a short dash.

On the run

Your goal, as with most endless runners, is to keep running through three areas for as long as you can, defeating or dodging enemies that stand in your way and avoiding floor hazards.

On your travels you'll be collecting a plethora of golden bubbles. These add to your score, but are also used to unlock a whole host of goodies in the in-game store.

Additionally, these bubbles power up a temporary shield you can deploy, protecting you from all dangers for a short period. When the shield is activated you can use it to access brief alternate paths that would otherwise decimate Sackboy.

As well as grabbing the occasional power-up, there are stickers to grab - complete a set and earn a prize - and 'Save-Me Hearts', otherwise known as 'continues', which are also available as in-app purchases.

So, all in all, each and every one of the formula's expected ingredients are present and correct. But that's my problem with Run Sackboy! Run! - it meets the expected standards of the genre, offering little more.

Run dry

It plays well enough, and in a nice bit of cross-device functionality exclusive costumes and items acquired in Run Sackboy! Run! can be transferred to other games in the LittleBigPlanet series.

Likewise, it's great that there's no energy system present, allowing players to run the gauntlet to their heart's content, which is pretty rare for a game you can acquire without spending a penny.

But there's hardly anything in Run Sackboy! Run! that you won't have seen or experienced elsewhere. There's little invention here, and the fact you can play as Sackboy just isn't enough of a selling point.

Run out

A lack of long term goals, beyond collecting every sticker and buying each costume, offers little reason for anyone who isn't a die-hard fan of the franchise to stick around.

Compared to the various on-going goals seen in the equally free to play Spider-Man Unlimited, for instance, Run Sackboy! Run! seems sparse.

The limited number of environments also ensures repetition quickly sets in, and since the levels are randomly generated, rather than expertly crafted as in Rayman Jungle Run, there's little here that will surprise or impress you.

That's particularly unfortunate given the broad range of possibilities the LittleBigPlanet franchise offers.

Aside from its strong presentation, Run Sackboy! Run! is 'good enough' in every way, but little more. LittleBigPlanet fans will lap it up, but there are far better options out there for those who are less keen on Sackboy.

Run Sackboy! Run!

Like most endless runners, your mileage will vary with Run Sackboy! Run! which, while impressively handsome, is a surprisingly limited example of its genre
Giles Armstrong
Giles Armstrong
Having worked in the games industry since 2007, Giles knows a thing or two about how good video games are made, why bad games happen, and that great games matter. A Game & Narrative Designer by day, story-based games are quite literally his bread and butter.