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Dash through Challenges: Run Again Review

“A challenging platformer game for mobile,” is the shortest description that I can give to this new game called Run Again, and there’s a few strong reasons why I can say so. Run Again is a simple continuous side-scrolling platformer game for mobile. Players will take on multiple levels of increasing difficulty that will challenge their mechanical skills. It’s made by the Korean studio, Hadul Soft.
The game tells two sides of a story, one is a loyal soldier who journeys to the demon castle in order to save the princess who was kidnapped by the demons, and the other is the adventure of the princess who will stop the evil in the castle. It’s an unexpected story, since the niche of heroic tales always end up with the lowly soldier (or sometimes, it’sa me, a plumber) defeating the Demon Lord or something to win the heart of the maiden. Though the story is somewhat minimal to greatly impact the game, knowing that they have their own reason to run endlessly like that gives the game more sense.
Speaking of levels, there are three major chapters for each character, wherein each of them contains six levels. These levels will contain three different challenges that a player must overcome to gain the best score for each of them. Once the challenge is complete, a player will get its corresponding star, but beware, it’s challenging.
Its controls are pretty straightforward. The left side of the screen contains the controls for movement, which are the jump and slide down. Since the game scrolls automatically, these are the core moves that the players should get used to in order to dodge obstacles. The right side of the screen contains the attack moves. There’s a button for a normal slash, one for a magic spell, and one for the special skill to stop time. Sword slash will be the most used button, since this is where players can kill enemies without using other resources. The magic spell will use the mana resource bar under the player’s health bar, so they need to be mindful of its use. The Stop Time ability can only be used three times per level, and it’s the most powerful ability that the player has. It doesn’t really stop the timer for how fast the level is cleared, but it stops all the objects in the level, and the player cannot be harmed by any obstacle, except if they fall down from the level. It can save the player’s life if timed right, or even finish the level unscathed if activated in the right places. These controls may be easy-to-understand, but subtle, unnoticed mechanics can mess up one’s perfect game, and it makes the game challenging.
Players may feel a little weak with their attacks and other abilities, so there’s a Shop that contains various upgrades for their character. The shop contains upgrades for Attack Power, Magic Power, HP and MP increases, and even faster gliding speed. They may appear costly but coins are scattered throughout every levels, so with enough grinding, a player can unlock all of the upgrades and be strong enough to make a record of their own.
For its graphics, the game used a pixel art style, which reminds me of classic retro game, but more colorful version than what the retro games offered. Each level are crafted great, and synchs perfectly with the pixel art.
The characters are also wonderfully drawn, and they look good on every cutscene and dialog that they appear into. Their style are also reminiscent of Visual Novel games. This combination of pixel art and hand-drawn characters are similar to RPG Maker games, which had told and shared thousands of stories from different developers throughout the years.
For those who are looking to make a name for themselves or just plainly competitive, there’s a leaderboard to dominate and achievements to collect. Progression with these two are also linked with a player’s Google Play Games account, so they can carry over to other devices or show off even after uninstalling the game. Getting to the top of the leaderboards may prove to be challenging, as a player may need to perfect their Run Again mechanics first in order to perfect run each level and get the highest score possible.
However, there’s two major improvements I want to suggest for this game. First is an “Endless/Survival” mode and the second is a new character. The Endless mode is, like the name suggests, a mode where players are able to traverse either of the three chapters map endlessly, or until they run out of HP. It’s a fun test of endurance, patience, and a good way to practice mechanical skills of the game.
Adding a new character is a good idea too. It doesn’t have to be something entirely new, it can be the story of the demon, where he can dominate the Promised Land or something. They can also be a secret playable character like the Forest Guardian, “Jerry”, and they will play the chapter normally. Variations can be fun for the game, especially since it can feel repetitive after playing a bit much. It can be a good refresher before going back to the usual grind.
To conclude this review, I want to say that this game is a challenging platformer for mobile. Having it on mobile is probably the best factor that the game had since it can be played anytime and anywhere, so long as your phones have enough battery life. Try the game and improve your eye-to-hand (or eye-to-finger) reactions and beat the leaderboard.
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