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Mobile Watch: RunBot

No temples and ruins in this futuristic runner.

Mobile gaming is¬†often susceptible to trends, with this year’s mainstay being the “Endless Runner” format. Popularised by the highly-addictive Temple Run, these games rely heavily on player reflexes as they’re dragged through an infinite gauntlet of traps, enemies, and obstacles.

Though Bravo Game Studios’ RunBot has its nuances, it doesn’t do enough to break away from the ever-growing crowd of emulators and copycats. At best, it’s a solid alternative for anyone craving a sci-fi Temple Run though its occasional flaws and lack of originality prevent it from being anything more.

Not wanting to patronise gamers with a drawn-out tutorial, RunBot drops you straight into the action. The game presents three lanes, each laden with obstacles and pick-ups; by swiping left and right you’ll navigate between them while employing up and down gestures to jump and slide respectively.

The objective is to keep running whilst collecting batteries to top-up your energy reserves. Stumbling into a trap or other obstacles will sap away a portion of your energy and when the meter hits zero, it’s game over.

Longevity comes in the form of experience points and purchasable upgrades. These combine to create RunBot’s replay incentive, offering bonuses and abilities that allow players to steadily climb the leaderboard.

Though it shares the same premise as Temple Run and its contemporaries, RunBot tries to differentiate itself with a few tweaks here and there. For example, drones and special fences will appear from time to time and can only be cleared by tapping them (unless you have the relevant upgrades). They succeed in adding diversity but at a cost; the game will sometimes read a tapping gesture as a swipe instead, often leading players directly into the path of another object. This becomes even more frustrating when RunBot notches up a gear and really starts to speed up.

The game’s vertical sections are much more forgiving, however, and are somewhat of a personal highlight. Your objective is the same though instead of swiping, you’ll use your device’s tilt function to avoid spinning blade and beams.

RunBot is free-to-play and features three non-intrusive payment options. The first two are simple, yet permanent boosts to both XP and the number of batteries acquired during each run. They are both priced at 69p which is fair enough considering how most F2P only offer temporary boosts. Those wanting to go all-out, on the other hand, can pay £2.49 to reach rank 100 instantly.

Best Bit

  • Tries some new ideas with interactive obstacles and tilt-controlled, vertical sections.

Worst Bit

  • Like most endless runners, RunBot is still prone to repetitiveness, even with its sci-fi quirks.

If you’ve yet to try an endless runner, RunBot is a good place to start. However, as a by-product of its enhanced visuals, there is a slight delay to character animations. This, combined with some of the game’s other annoyances, don’t detract from experience entirely though definitely place RunBot below a number of its rivals.

  1. flatspikes
    Since: May 2009

    I’ll probably take a peek but likely to end up bored or disappointed after a short while. I’m just not sure this is a genre for me:-(

    Comment posted on 29/08/2013 at 11:43.
    • bunimomike
      Since: Jul 2009

      Mate… I’m not even sure it’s a game! The endless runner genre is so utterly soulless I can barely fathom why people play these type of games. I always think “to each their own” but this particular game-type leaves me bewildered and bemused.

      Comment posted on 29/08/2013 at 13:28.
      • flatspikes
        Since: May 2009

        Perhaps that is it… It’s not a game! I do wonder why I struggle with quite a few mobile game types… This one is probably the worst though.

        Comment posted on 29/08/2013 at 18:21.