Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
In Le Vamp, it was an angry mob; in Temple Run 2, a giant gorilla. What’s chasing you in Greedy Dwarf? A dragon on a bicycle (!) — but thankfully, he’s not seen during actual gameplay, as you never slow down enough for him to appear onscreen. In fact, you have no enemies to contend with at all. Your only goal in this auto-runner game is to coast through each of its 32 stages without falling off the path into hot lava, grabbing as many gold nuggets and rocket boosts as you can.
Movement is both simple and fairly intuitive: You tap the lower half of the screen with two fingers to jump, while swiping a finger left or right to rotate your mine cart clockwise or counterclockwise along a cylindrical path. That 360-degree motion definitely adds spark — and a fair amount of challenge — as you roll along. One minute, you might be rotating 90 degrees along a rocky trail to grab a chunk of gold; the next, you’re jumping and then quickly rotating the screen in mid-air so you land on a second thin path, rather than in the deadly lava surrounding it. A number of courses even have you rolling upside-down along the ceiling (i.e., the top of the screen) — a nifty, vertigo-inducing mechanic that’s used just enough to be exciting, not irritating.
We were less thrilled by spots where the game abruptly shifts from an over-the-shoulder view to a 2D, side-scrolling view. Sure, these switches inject some variety, and the 2D portions eventually put you upside-down as well, but they also feel a bit gimmicky; the gameplay’s definitely better in the normal, third-person perspective.
What really keeps this game from nabbing a higher score, though, is something even more basic. Unlike genre classics like Temple Run 2 or Sky Safari, Greedy Dwarf never feels as good as we’d like. Due in part to your cart’s slow speed (except during short rocket boosts), the game’s very much about timing, not motion — about jumping and/or rotating the screen at just the right moment — and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, the result is a rather subdued experience. More often than not, we were focused purely on precise patterns (jump here, don’t jump here, now jump again), whereas the best runner games seem to mix math and movement in a way that feels good and tests your reflexes.
Nevertheless, Greedy Dwarf's unique and sometimes clever game mechanics make it worth trying. At $1.99, it’s a decent value, and even if you never replay a single level pursuing more gold or rockets, you’ll still have a few hours of fun.
The bottom line. This mellow auto-runner offers some interesting gameplay, although it may leave speed freaks craving something more energetic.
iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone running iOS 4.3 or later
Good, easy-to-learn controls. Unique rotating mechanic. Well-tuned difficulty makes it tricky but not aggravating. Charming look and aesthetic.
Game never feels as good or organic as our favorite runner games. No real rewards (other than points) for nabbing pickups. Side-scrolling 2D play doesn’t add much.