With endless running games a dime a dozen on the App Store at the moment, it’s incredibly difficult to attract casual gamers who have already had the pleasure of spending hours on the giants of the genre, such as Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run. Whilst not being as manic as these two games, Run Sheldon! is still very enjoyable in its own right, backed by an impressive cartoon look and a good twist of an age old premise, that makes it worth your time.
Run Sheldon, stars Sheldon the tortoise who managed to win the famous ‘Tortoise and the Hare’ race against all the odds. Unsurprisingly, the hares aren’t particularly happy about this and proceed to chase after Sheldon as he tries to make his escape with the trophy he won in the race . Although not fundamental to the game (you don’t tend to play an endless running game for its storyline) this bit of narrative is a nice touch.
Obstacles come in the variety of hares popping in and out of your path, from rabbit holes, parachutes or even coming at you with wooden shields, as you attempt to get the highest scores possible. Your defence comes in the form of power-ups that allow you to jump further and evade the enemies strewn about the course. Another nice touch, a bit of a nod to Mario, allows you to jump on hares as you go past. This eliminates them, allows you to bounce higher to get far-off prizes, and builds up the ability to gain a tortoise shell that essentially gives you a free pass if you screw up.
Coins are used to upgrade power-ups as well as one off boosts so you can get that bit further. Whilst the boosts are reasonably priced, the upgrades for the power ups tend to be a bit steep, with a large amount of playtime needed to achieve the requisite coins without straying into real money. As the game is enjoyable this is unlikely to make a large amount of difference but is a negative all the same.
The level and character design is beautiful and vibrant and even the music fails to be anything other than pleasant, even after playing for a considerable amount of time. Kids and adults will be impressed in equal amounts with the former enjoying the bright cartoon characters, and adults enjoying the later difficulty and the ability to get competitive with achievements and Game Center.
There are a few niggles; sometimes jumping with Sheldon can feel incredibly loose, causing you to lose the game when he doesn’t jump exactly when you wanted too. There is also a distinct lack of urgency with it sometimes feeling like a slow jog rather than a proper ‘run for life’ scenario. But these are minor issues; Run Sheldon is a thoroughly enjoyable game that deserves your attention and could easily challenge the mainstays of endless running games on the iOS any day of the week.
Run Sheldon is available now on the iOS App Store.