Run Roo Run! is an action platform game developed by 5th Cell, the developer of the well received Scribblenauts Remix. We reviewed Scribblenauts and really liked it, and if you look at Run Roo Run, you can really tell the similarities between the graphical looks of the two games with a definite 5th Cell theme running through them both.

Indeed, it would be easy to mistake Run Roo Run for a custom Scribblenauts level at first glance, but to prove that looks can be deceptive, the games are pole apart in terms of gameplay and content.

Run Roo Run is described by the developer as a ‘micro’ platformer, with each level only one screen big and taking just a few seconds to complete. The game is an auto run type of platformer, with Roo, the central character automatically running, with the only control given to the player, at least initially, being the ability to jump. At a basic level, this is a lot like many endless runners, but confined to a single, complex screen and far more inventive.

You must guide Roo across the Australian landscape in a whopping total of 420 levels. Yes that is four hundred and twenty levels, a stunning amount, even if many of them only take seconds to finish. The developer has even promised a weekly drop of an extra 10 levels, meaning that this is certainly a game that you are going to get your money’s worth from.

The levels start off very simple, but soon turn into devious, trap filled mazes. Roo soon finds many objects, such as cannons and swing ropes, in each chapter to help her and even the ability to walk on the ceiling to avoid traps, and you will need to learn how to utilise all these items to get through some of the tougher levels. Each time you jump you leave an arrow to help you learn where best to place your next jump if you die. It is a simple but effective way to learn from your mistakes.

It is surprisingly addictive, and crucially creates that ‘one more go’ feeling, especially on the more difficult, ‘extreme’ levels. 

The game has a cutesy look that I quite like, but I feel that the animation on Roo is a little bit wooden and could be improved. Run Roo Run has a bright and breezy feel to it, which is helped by the music but I have to say that it does look a little bit too much like Scribblenauts for my liking, and loses a little bit of identity because of it.

The game has full leaderboards and achievements, which is always a welcome plus. The fact that you are going to get 10 free levels a week in addition to the 420 included is probably worth the price of entry alone.

In fact the only thing I feel is missing is some kind of level editor. The quick fix nature of the game and stages seems perfect for such an option, and I am guessing that with the developers history with Scribblenauts, they must have considered including one. I hope that one is in the works, as that would really make this game fly.

In Conclusion

Overall, this is a great little game with a big wedge of levels to really keep you satisfied. The sheer value alone makes the game worth it, and although many of the actual gameplay features have been seen before, when taken with the ‘micro’ nature of the levels, I can heartily recommend this game.

There is also an iPad version of the game available for $1.99.

This review originally appeared on The Smartphone App Review (January 12, 2012).