Review: I've Got to Run! (Wii U eShop)

Take a walk

Made using the Nintendo Web Framework, 4 Corner Games' I've Got to Run! works more as a proof of concept than a full-fledged experience. This little game is functional and cute, but the bare bones presentation and gameplay won't sustain anyone's attention for more than a few minutes, and most will wonder why this game isn't on 3DS or even a mobile device.

I've Got to Run! is an endless runner in the vein of Canabalt, Temple Run and countless other simple mobile games in which the on-screen character automatically runs forward and the player has to dodge obstacles. While many endless runners have the ability to jump, slide and even hit obstacles out of the way, I've Got to Run's Marshmallow Boy only runs and jumps. Pressing any button (including the touch screen) makes the little guy jump, while pressing Start will take players back to the main menu.

I've Got to Run's hook is that each of the three modes plays slightly differently. In Endless Classic, Marshmallow Boy runs through a kitchen and can only do one jump at a time. In Endless Double, Marshmallow Boy runs through the outside of a castle and can double-jump. In Endless Special, Marshmallow Boy is on the moon and can double-jump and collect power-ups that either speed up or slow down the game. There are local leaderboards, but unless everyone in your home plans on playing I've Got to Run! we doubt they'll be of much use.

The game runs at a constant 60 frames per second, with no hiccups at all. The visuals are extremely simple. The backgrounds and platforms are cutesy and look intentionally photo-shopped, with the kitchen backdrop having the most charm — magnets on the refrigerator ominously tell Marshmallow Boy to run, and if you look closely, you can see an open bag of marshmallows sitting next to a mug of hot chocolate. The power-ups on the moon are tiny boxes, which make them look like placeholders; surely there could have been some more creative way of representing speed "than" up and "down" arrows? The electronic music doesn't exactly go with the style, but it's also not hard on the ears.

The GamePad mimics the TV screen in addition to touch controls. The main menu is clean and simple. The one questionable inclusion is a Save option on the main menu, which doesn't seem to have any functionality, since the game appears to save automatically.

Conclusion

The gameplay in I've Got to Run! works. It's self-explanatory, simple and smooth, and players who have wasted hours on games like this will enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, there's nothing else to fully explain the title's appearance on the Wii U, when many runners can be found on alternative platforms and arguably seem more natural on those environments; I've Got to Run! is not the kind of game that someone will turn on their Wii U and play for extended periods of time. It's a decent time-waster, but that's it. At its inexpensive asking price, there are worse games in the Wii U's growing library of eShop offerings, but understand that you won't be running with Marshmallow Boy for very long.

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