Bright colors and silly sounds
Characters with own abilities
Might be TOO happy for some
As anyone who spends a lot of time with modern gaming knows, it's a lot harder these days to find a good platformer, with more and more third-person shooters flying onto the shelves. It's also getting a lot harder to find a game that doesn't worry about a deep plot, with even the indy games getting deep and philsophical. So, RunMan is a pretty nice surprise. There's no shooting, violence, or moral choices here, and the plot never goes beyond 'run really fast'. It is what it is, a game about running really fast. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, the game is about Runman, a little yellow speed demon, and his quest to (just as advertised) race around the world. The game is split into 6 worlds, with 6 stages in each. What you need to do in each stage is run to the end of the level as fast as you can with the best possible score and time.
You've only got two buttons: Jump, and Boost. The Boost button makes Runman start running incredibly fast without stopping until you let go of the button, and you'll use this to bounce off of walls, kill enemies, break through rocks, and run on the surface of water. For a while, you'll be able to hold it down to get through the levels. But to get through the later levels and make the best scores, you'll have to learn when to slow down and take your time.
You don't ever have to worry about dying in Runman, as long as you can make it to the exit, somehow. Enemies will only knock you back and take away some points, and falling into a pit will spit you out a few seconds later. The only thing that can make you restart a level are the boss levels, where a huge monster chases you until you can make it to the end.
You may run into a few tricky spots, but the game's pretty short. Beating all the levels is just part of it, though. Part of the fun is working to improve your runs. An important part of the game is the Momentum Meter, a bar on the top left that slowly fills up any time you're moving and empties when you stop. The more momentum you have when you cross one of the several checkpoints in each level, the more points you'll earn.
Every stage also has a bronze, silver and gold medal for you to earn, earned at 500, 750, and 1000 points, respectively. Enough medals will unlock secret characters, each with their own moves and style of play. You can also save a file for each stage that makes a ghost repeat your run, letting you improve on your slow spots.
Moving on from the gameplay, Runman has a pretty interesting style not everyone will appreciate. Everything's drawn with MSPaint, with bright, happy colours, and it's all meant to look as happy as possible. Even the background will smile and cheer for you when your momentum meter maxes out. The music is made from old jazz, bluegrass and folk music from the 20's-40's, and even though it doesn't really fit in a fast-paced platformer like this, it's still pretty fun to listen to.
It's a little short, and easy, but if you're into platformers and 'score attack' style games, Runman's a great choice.
Review by: Bobinator
Safe for all ages