It's always nice to find a game that surprises you. At first glance, you see, Runaway Snack seems like just another one of those cartoony physics-puzzlers starring a big-eyed hero and featuring a three-star rating system.
Scratch below its surface, though, and you'll find new ideas and new ways to play.
Yes, sure, it is another cartoony physics-puzzler, but there's more to do here than normal. And you do it more often. Plus, it's polished, entertaining, and addictive.
All of that makes for a pleasant, if not revolutionary, change.
Snack on this
Runaway Snack is all about guiding a fish into a portal. You don't have any direct control over the escaping lump of sushi, but you can manipulate various parts of the environment to make sure the fish gets to its goal.
To begin with, you're just playing with planks. You tap them to make them disappear, or swipe to twist them in one direction or another. Tap on the fish and he'll flop down the screen, hopefully bouncing off your carefully manipulated obstacles and landing in the plughole.
You can move things around while the fish is in motion, though. And as the game goes on, it becomes increasingly important to do so.
Gravity wells, for example, suck the fish in and enable you to fire him out with a pull, while moveable black holes suck him in at one end and fire him out at the other.
Then, there are electric fences to dodge and plasma cannons to navigate around. The game designer introduces these new obstacles at a decent rate, meaning that - while you're never overwhelmed or unsure about what to do - you're always facing an interesting new challenge.Getting the snack of things
It's in the level design where Runaway Snack really shines, mind. The eureka moments you'll experience during some of the later levels are sublime, and watching your carefully planned and executed strategy come to fruition is a joy.
There are a few missteps along the way, and there are some levels that are more frustrating than they are fun, but overall Runaway Snack is well judged.
This is physics-puzzling with a dexterous twist, and you'll need to be fast with your fingers as well as your brain if you want to succeed here.