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Run, Lola, run.
Games are often shadows of their real-world origins, like representing a swimming pool high-dive with a button-push. So we're thrilled by the physicality that Mirror's Edge brings to the iPad. Somehow a few simple finger gestures turn into leaps, rolls, and stunts that make us sweat from tension. While the game weakly tells its story through loading-screen text, and some levels grow repetitive, get Mirror's Edge for its underlying fluidity.
Mirror's Edge keeps a side-view perspective throughout. As a fleet-footed courier, you run everywhere. Swipe gestures get you started to the left or right, and additional swipes in the four cardinal directions translate into many contextually sensitive moves. After bounding across a chasm, swipe down to roll through the landing. Swipe up as you get to a wall, and you'll scramble higher. Swipe ahead to shoulder-charge and disarm the police. You'll traverse zip-lines, climb between narrow gaps, slide under obstacles, and more. The simple gestures perfectly match the kinetic game; we felt almost like we were running and leaping.
Get your kicks.
While you move only on a 2D-plane, the 3D graphics add depth. Helicopters shoot from the background, pigeons fly away from rooftops, and buildings at different distances color the landscape. The great style is pulled from the original, console game.
The story--or what we could make of it--is much more forgettable. You'll just read scrolling text between levels, sometimes causing confusion later. We understand that the police don't like the lawless runners, but why did we fight other couriers? FedEx versus UPS turf wars of the future?
Double your fun against a friend on the same iPad.
The main game can grow repetitive, but many extras add additional ways to play. Return to levels to find secrets and race against your best time, even seeing a ghost outline of your prior run to know if you're winning. You can also race a friend on the same iPad, with one person on each side.
Ignore the Mirror's Edge story and just enjoy the ride. Expressive animation and concise controls add up; you physically feel this game as much as you play it.