Sackboy is slowly becoming a mascot for Sony, in the same way that Mario is for Nintendo. With several popular games in the franchise, it’s no surprise that Sony wants to bring Sackboy to a new generation of gamers on a new platform, which is where Run Sackboy! Run! Comes in. So how does the franchise fair on mobile devices?
Well, it seems to be an admirable effort so far. Taking place in the same world as other LittleBigPlanet games, you are Sackboy and you’re constantly running from your evil foe the Negativitron. Like similar games on mobile devices, you tap to jump, collect resources and generally try your best to avoid obstacles.
The game has three zones, all brought in from the console versions: Garden, Avalonia and Canyons. Each area is randomly generated, so there’s always something to see, and every time you finish one area you move on to the next, with all of them cycling one after the other. Like other endless runners, as you progress, the game gets faster and faster until you either hit an obstacle or are slowed down enough to be eaten by the Negativitron.
Of course, the big criticism here is that it seems rather hollow, for a world that is all about creativity, to only have three areas. While it is true they are randomly generated, you don’t get to play on other people’s creations, or any of the other thematic areas from the franchise. That being said, it’s likely that new areas might come down the line, but for now, it seems kind of shallow.
The obstacles that the game has are also rather limited and come in a few forms: enemies, spiked, missiles, electrified floors and a glob of pink goo which slows you down if you’re unlucky enough to step into it. Most of these obstacles aren’t actually that hard to avoid, as most of these obstacles aren’t very dynamic, so the challenge stems from being able to avoid them at speed. In addition to that, the Negativitron is mostly unseen, and only mostly shows up when you step into the pink goo and slow down, although a quick dash away will have him disappear again.
Given all that, where does the challenge come from? Well, much like other endless runner games, you have an evolving set of challenges and collections to complete. Each one that you complete gives you some kind of a reward, like leveling you up or increasing your multiplayer, the game tries to entice you back by always putting you just out of reach of your next objective.
As mentioned earlier, you also have a resource to collect as you play: Bubbles. You use those to purchase yourself upgrades to pick-up abilities, new costumes and treasure chests. Unfortunately, this system tends to be rather shallow, as the pick-up abilities (magnet, jet pack and hang glider) are mundane, and the rewards from chests are run of the mill.
Like any other F2P game, you can also splurge real money to buy yourself multipliers or bundles. Fortunately, you aren’t really paying for an advantage, but rather spending money on getting things sooner. Considering that, even the monetary model of the game is rather mundane.
So how does Run Sackboy! Run! fair? Well, it’s a somewhat shallow experience that is still fun. If you’re a fan of the franchise, Sackboy is still an endearing mascot, even though the game might feel like a bit of a sell-out in terms of gameplay, following the traditional endless runner mechanic and not really innovating. Of course, like any other mobile game, there’s always the chance of a patch that introduced new content, so there might be hope yet!
What do you think of Run Sackboy! Run! ? Let us know in the comments.