TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'ReRunners: Race for the World'
July 22, 2016
The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
ReRunners: Race for the World
This is kind of a strange Game of the Week post because, to be frank, I have a lot of criticism's about this week's pick ReRunners: Race for the World [Free] from Klang Games. The thing is the core concept and its execution are enough to look past the shortcomings in ReRunners, and this is the game that's been responsible for wiping my battery clean the most since its release earlier this week. I just can. Not. Stop. Playing.
ReRunners is a speedrunning platformer where the main hook is that you get to race against the recorded runs of players from around the world, whose ghost avatars are running and jumping through levels right alongside you. It's not in real-time, but that actually doesn't affect the fun of competition, and if anything it's a far better choice for devices that typically can have spotty connections. Racing against these ghosts works beautifully, and I've had so many exhilarating moments exchanging leads with other runners, making deft leaps and bounds through particularly tricky terrain, and having some extremely close finishes that have me leaping out of my seat when I finally cross the finish line. This game is capital F fun.
So what's the problem? Well, as fun as the game itself is, ReRunners is a convoluted beast. It's free to play so there's two currencies to learn the ins and outs of, there's an energy system that's got a confusing recharge system, there's an ability upgrading system which also has timers, and there is a ton of virtual buttons plastered all over the UI at any given time. This is a very overwhelming experience when you're first getting started, which can be a bad sign when you're aiming to hook new players within the first minute or two of trying out a new game.
The thing is, it's all not as scary as it seems at first. The currency works pretty much like any typical free to play game, and the game gives out more than enough to make the progression feel normal with lots of cosmetic in-game items for you to burn any real money on if you're feeling impatient. The energy system is confusing but generous, and I've yet to run into a stopping point during extremely frequent play the past few days. The UI is overwhelming at first, but actually highly functional and once you learn what everything does you actually admire how well the developers designed the flow of moving in and out of the different parts of the game.
It's a good thing the gameplay in ReRunners is so damn compelling, because it's not often a mobile gamer will put a lot of time into learning the ins and outs of a game before simply moving on to the next one. It's not even like I set out to learn how the game worked, it's that once I got a taste of actually playing the game I found myself compulsively coming back to it over and over again, and eventually, you just start figuring out anything that seemed confusing at first.
ReRunners definitely has some room for improvement in certain areas, and the developers seem more than open to the feedback they've been receiving in the forums, but this is truly a game that platforming fans shouldn't miss. Even if it feels overwhelming at first, stick with it, because it's a very rewarding experience and one game that I picture staying on my iPhone and becoming a daily habit for a long time to come.