RunBot Is An Endless Runner With Endless Upgrades [Review]



If you’re tired of running through temples, taking joyrides on jetpacks, or robot unicorn … attacking, developer Bravo has a guy you should meet.

RunBot by Bravo Game Studios
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

He’s RunBot, star of the same-named, free-to-play, sprint-forever game out now for iOS devices. I’m not actually sure that his name is RunBot, now that I think about it, but that’s as good a name as any considering he’s a robot that runs. He also jumps, slides, falls, and flies, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Here’s the plot: RunBot is running through a city. That’s basically it. The game suggests that he’s broken out of a lab of some kind, and his former keepers are tracking him and occasionally send out drones to shoot at him with lasers, but if you’re looking to play an endless runner for the plot, you might also want to check out the awesome artwork in this text adventure I’m working on.

On his perpetual journey across the rooftops of a futuristic city, RunBot encounters pipes; force fields; narrow bridges; and giant, hollow shafts with beams running across them at odd intervals. I have no idea why the buildings of the future have or need all of this crap on their roofs, but then again, I’m not a future-architect.

I passed Emperor Palpatine AND the Balrog on my way down.

Screen swipes make RunBot avoid most hazards. Up-swipes make him jump, down-swipes make him slide, and side-swipes make him move into a different “lane” on his path. He has lasers to deal with drones, and you tilt your phone or tablet to guide him up or down those weird shafts I mentioned earlier.

The tilt controls work best of all of them. Sometimes, the game mistook my up-swipes for side-swipes, which meant that RunBot would just run into a pipe and stand there until I did the input right. When you pull it off correctly, though, the game’s smooth, parkour-style animations add a nice sense of flow.

It’s basically like most other endless runners (although way prettier than most), so if you’ve played one before, you know what you’re in for here. The main difference between this and titles like Jetpack Joyride is that RunBot has a finite amount of energy to fuel his running, and if he runs out, he explodes. Why? Because.

He can stave off the ‘sploding by picking up batteries along his path, but the meter is always running down. It adds an interesting urgency to the game, but it also leads to its biggest issue.

The game’s smooth, parkour-style animations add a nice sense of flow.

RunBot can exchange the batteries he picks up in various playthroughs for upgrades. Some of them make his power meter deplete more slowly, some give him more energy from the batteries he picks up, and he can even unlock jetpacks and shields to protect himself against hazards.

It means that the more you play, the easier it gets and the more you can bump up your high score, but it also means that your early time with the game will feel like you’re just banging your head against the wall until you can get better equipment. Of course, you can always pay some real money to get to the goods sooner, but as a free experience, it feels like a bit of a slog at times.

RunBotGame Name: RunBot
The Good: Pretty graphics, smooth animations, and a good variety of obstacles and hazards keep RunBot from getting stale too quickly.
The Bad: Its occasionally dodgy controls and the need to unlock upgrades to actually feel capable might turn a few people off.
The Verdict It adds nothing too new to endlessly running, but it’s a very capable, slick, and good-looking entry to the genre. And it’s free, so that’s nice, too.
Buy from: App Store