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The title Run Roo Run is a bit misleading, due to the marsupial main character's languid pace, but I guess "Saunter Roo Saunter" didn't have quite the same ring to it. While Roo won't be competing in a 100 yard dash with Sonic the Hedgehog anytime soon, she manages to hold her own in this delightful precision platformer.
Each level tasks the player with getting Roo over a series of hazards as she makes her way from Perth to Sydney in an effort to rescue her child from the zoo. She automatically runs from left to right, with the game's one-button control scheme managing jumping. Unlike other free-running games like Canabalt, each stage is a condensed single-screen challenge, usually lasting between two and seven seconds on a successful run. Initially, it's as simple as getting Roo to leap over cacti and rocks, but each of the game's 20 chapters introduces a new obstacle. Tires bounce her further, barbershop poles spin her around, and birds provide a platform to boost higher.
The beauty of Run Roo Run is in how well paced it is. The stages are microscopic in size, rarely requiring more than four taps to complete; but while this may sound easy, the expert levels require each jump to be pixel-perfect. Ordinarily, failing a stage dozens of times would frustrate, but the minuscule size of each level makes every setback the lightest of lashings.
This is a very cute game too, with a soundtrack reminiscent of developer 5th Cell's previous effort, Scribblenauts. Where that game was big on ideas but sometimes lacking in execution, this feels like its inverse with a razor sharp focus and refined mechanics.
The bottom line. The Australian outback may be a dangerous place, but the polished platforming and brisk pace make Run Roo Run a perfect casual counterpart to other punishing platformers like Super Meat Boy.
iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 3.1 or later
Spot-on platforming. Forgiving checkpoints. Looks great and sounds even better.
Items that grant slow-motion or allow you to automatically beat levels are only attainable via micro-transactions.