Run Sackboy! Run! Impressions
Run Sackboy! Run! launched on mobile devices last year and just this week finally made its way to the PlayStation Vita. I have the game on my iPhone and enjoy playing it every so often, but I’m happy to finally have it on my Vita. Specifically because I’ll now have people on my PSN friends list to high score chase with. (Though at the moment I’m not seeing very many of my friends on the high score table so feel free to add me if you’re playing this!)
Run Sackboy! Run! as the name would imply is a pretty simple free-to-play endless runner. On each run you’ll collect bubbles that can be used to purchase costumes or upgrade special power-ups that can be found within the game. For instance you can pay 1000 bubbles to increase the duration of time that you’ll be able to use the jet pack. As you collect bubbles and avoid obstacles you’ll also aim to complete missions that are given to you in sets of three. Completing missions will earn you Gold Sackboys that, after five, will increase your level. Increasing levels will add a permanent +1 to your multiplier which of course will result in much higher scores.
The core gameplay loop is very similar to Jetpack Joyride. (I’m sure there’s other endless runners that are similar, but Jetpack Joyride is the other big one that I got into.) It’s also pretty good about not making you feel like you have to spend real money to progress. There’s never a point in which you have to stop playing and it’s always possible to earn the bubbles needed to purchase unlockables within the game. That said it won’t take very long before the the cost of upgrades require a good deal of grinding. That’s likely where people might end of falling off on this game. I’m at a point where it’s going to take a really long time to get enough bubbles to purchase a new upgrade. There’s also daily rewards and treasure chests that you can purchase, but what those give you will only slightly shorten the grind. For instance last night I bought a special treasure chest that gave me one special pin that, when I get 499 more, will unlock a special costume. As of this writing I’ve found no other way to get one of those pins.
On the technical side of things I found the frame rate to be rather inconsistent. It’s not going to stop me from playing (I like the game quite a bit), but it’s definitely noticeable. I also wish that I could use button controls instead of touch. The controls are simple enough and the touch controls work fine for the most part (every so often the dash won’t work), but I really wish I just had the option for buttons.
Run Sackboy! Run! is just simple fun and it’s easy to fall into the ‘just one more time’ loop really quick. I like the power-ups you get, leveling to get better multipliers, and unlocking costumes for the other LBP games is pretty cool. You can totally speed up the grind with in app purchases, but you don’t have to and I don’t really feel pressured to do so.