The little things in an endless runner have never mattered as much as they do now in the cluttered genre. Get Set Games' Mega Run [Free] is formulaic, but every component and mechanic it offers has been superhumanly implemented and executed. Its physics, running, and jumping all feel fantastic, though familiar, and its world feels textured. It's a joy to play and easy to get wrapped up in, just by virtue of how savagely it slays every point of design possible in a modern runner.

Mega Run sees the return of Redford, Mega Jump's delightfully cutesy red dinosaur-thing-creature, in a senseless adventure that has him running and jumping through five themed worlds containing 16 stages each. Redford isn't the only thing from Mega Jump you'll see in Mega Run, either. That game's power-ups have also come over, as well as its some of its IAP design philosophies.

Like most runners, Mega Run is a standard run, jump, and grab coins affair. Boring on its face, but everything is so well-realized and executed: the controls are responsive, Redford's weight feels great, and the power-ups do a fantastic job bolstering and changing up the pace of the core running mechanic. One power-up, for example, makes Redford gigantic. It slows him down, but also gives him the ability to crash through level barriers and mow down enemies that he'd have to avoid in his normal state. Other power-ups make him run faster, give him projectiles, or let him take to the air for short stretches of time. A sharp RPG-like feature keeps you invested in these, too, as you'll spend the coins you earn unlocking more abilities.

Most endless runners are, well, endless, so it's nice that this offers a much more traditional, instance-based experience. It makes the package feel more accessible and it leads to a wider variety of levels. Most are based in a forested world, but the details in the art direction differentiate each level. The same goes for the sound. There's some great tracks in this, some of which seem to pay respect to Donkey Kong with their drums and tribal instrumentation.

So, OK: we've got a slick, free game here that hits all the right notes. Let's talk about that IAP. Mega Run's free-to-play functionality is pretty inoffensive, as far as IAP stuff goes. It takes the form of two kinds of currencies that you can purchase for real dough or earn via in-game in order to obtain extra lives and power-ups. As I play, I don't feel the need or the pressure to pay, though I can imagine a scenario in which I might just want to pay an extra buck or two to get three stars on a level after a frustrating slip-up.

End of the day: Mega Run is an engrossing, vibrant game that has a fantastic presentation, controls and art direction. At its core, the action is pretty standard, but the execution is near flawless. Give it a spin.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Scape3d

    I'd been looking forward to this game since it was announced. I'm a huge fan of Mega Jump so I had high hopes for this one. THIS GAME IS GREAT! The review nailed it. The mechanics are solid and the art style is perfect. Now I just need the free time to actually play it more!

  • seasuz

    I'm pleased with how the IAP is implemented. The game plays great and is beautiful without any IAP. THIS is how IAP should be done (see Tiny Tower for another great example.) I'll be tossing a couple of bucks at this game as a simple "thank you" for the great game and non-intrusive IAP.

  • gromange

    I have two points. Firstly, endless runners tend to be.... Endless. This runner ends. And has levels. It's an ending runner with levels. Or more commonly known as a platformer. I guess the word endless somehow gets pulled across because of the controls and MegaRuns desire to be marketed in this accessible genre.

    Secondly, this game has Zynga levels of IAP. And to me it sullies what could have been a new age classic. The game and the business model are inextricably mushed together. That makes me feel dirty. But hey, like this and I'll give you 20 mega dollars, want to post? 50 bucks. What capitals? 100 bucks. Want to unlock the next review early? 200 bucks. Hey while your here watch this advert.

    Lately I've been trying to imagine how my favorite classic games of yesteryear would look with the business model of MegaRun attached. And it makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit.

    • Arcite

       I really have to agree with you on that one.

    • Vinvy

      Agree. I wish devs would just make two versions of their games, one free + IAP, one 2$ flat. I don't feel invested in free games, and no matter how good they are, the IAP always makes me feel like I am getting an incomplete package.

      • Magdalene Felix

        I've been feeling like this for a while and I'm glad I'm not the only one. I'd much rather pay upfront and get everything that game has to offer, than get the base game for free but pay small steady fees in order to also enjoy it.

    • MidianGTX

      You missed one out: want to play the entire game? 0 bucks. I'll admit there's a grind attached, but that grind is the reason I'm still playing Mega Jump 2 years later. If I'd finished the game within 10 minutes of me downloading it as per most iOS games, it would have been deleted after 11 minutes.

  • sanderbos

    Two things:
    1. This game looks phenomonal, just phenomonal on the iPad 3. Prettiest game I have now (don't care much for iPad 3D games, too spoilt by bump mapping from actual consoles and PCs). Wonder what the Mobigame people would have said last week if they were told that their game would not be nicest looking game released this week (because Zombie Carnaval is super-pretty too, very very nice week for iPad games).
    2. If the IAP in this game is not considered frustrating, then please explain to me what would be. Yes, it could be more annoying if you had to purchase the levels outright, but *every* time you die you are requested to donate money (popup for save stars, I used all given ones in the first half hour before realizing the only way to get more is to pay for them with real money). I constantly have the feeling that get set games steer me in the direction of making purchases. That would be fine, if I could just pay 'em let's say 3 dollars and they would get off my back, but there is no such option.

  • pocketmego

    I find a lot to like in runners like this. Largely because I see them as he natural evolution of the 16 bit platformer genre. You have to move from right to left in those games anyway, so it doesn't bother me that the computer does it for you.

    When it is this well implemented it adds that terrific focus on level guiding, strategy, and power-ups. This is best side scrolling runner I've played and I'd say calling it a classic is not in appropriate at all. As for he ISP, I'm well into level 2 and haven't spent a dime. If I do the game makes me feel more like I would want to instead of have to and that works really well.

  • ManuD

    Don't think IAP's are that much essential in the game. Wonderful game.

  • regkilla

    I rate this game 2/5.

  • Krystal Mak

    :S Too bad it doesn't work on 2Gs...

  • Nate

    Have to agree that the IAP in this game is the very *definition* of intrusive, since it effectively asks you if you want to buy more every single time that you die, and since it offers two completely different currencies, one of which cannot be obtained in the game.

    Also a bit surprised not to see Wind-Up Knight referenced in the review, or any of the other multiple games that have done this "endless platformer" model well in the past.
    It does look great, though.

  • nttaylor

    How do any of you guys get three stars on anything? You can't even see what's coming up ahead and the levels are different every time. I three-starred 1-1 and 1-2 and that was it. Spent the better part of an hour playing 1-3 over and over and never got closer than 1.5.

  • http://twitter.com/Waikikinme FuKnWitU

    I have my own English School in Japan and the kids LOVE this game like no other

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DQMANZVCCUHEAR2LAJ3BPRB56M Guso

    It's impossible to get the red gem on level 3-6... I'm not going to pay to get a savestar to get one gem.

    • JLBuck

      It's not impossible. You just need to get to where the red gem is without having any powerups. You just run right into the red guy instead of jumping on him, and you'll fall down the one level you need to get the red gem. It took me a while to figure this out.

Mega Run - Redford's Adventure Reviewed by Perry Jackson on . Rating: 4.5