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Review of 'Galaxy Run' for iOS

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"Galaxy Run" for iOS

Rating:
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In Spiel Studios' latest mobile game "Galaxy Run" for iOS players control Rez, an astronaut who's crash landed in an unknown part of the universe that's filled with a plethora of dangerous hazards. Unlike the name implies, "Galaxy Run" isn't an endless runner. Instead, it's a micro platformer. Each of the 360 levels can be completed within seconds.

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For the majority of the game you can see the whole stage on the screen at once. Touching the screen will cause your character to start running, and touching the screen again will cause him to jump or activate a power-up, such as his jet pack or firing out of a cannon. The vast majority of the game boils down to timing jumps as Rez makes his way across the screen to a door called a gateway and finishes the level. Depending on how long it takes for you to complete the stage, you'll score up to three orbs. You're also able to create clips of your gameplay and share them on social networks. Acquiring a significant number of orbs per chapter will unlock bonus stages with more challenging levels using that chapter's new item.

Things start simple with gravity and switches with arrows up or down arrows that you touch will change the affect of gravity on the screen. Gravity also becomes important when mixed with double jumps and the game's many other gadgets you'll have to interact with. You'll also encounter grappling hooks, which will swing you over gaps or obstacles. Knowing when to jump onto or off of them is pivotal. Leaping closer to the grappling hook will yield as small swing while catching it from further away will increase the velocity of your swing.

There's buttons which open and close the gateway, and chapter seven introduces moving platforms, which will already be moving before you start running. You'll need to think carefully when to start running, in order to catch it. Once you've landed you'll stop running and will need to tap the screen again. Chapter eight yields springboards, which act like trampolines, and timed lazer grids complicate things in chapter nine.

Other obstacles you'll encounter as you advance through the game include robots that walk back and forth, fans to float up on, a turn around that makes you start running the opposite direction, portals, timed spikes, turret shots, cannons that you'll shoot out of tap for angle tap again for power, and a jet pack.

There's several premium power-ups: Slowing down time, becoming a "ghost" that can run through obstacles, and skipping a level. You'll start the game with a limited number of each, and more will require you to make an additional in-app purchase. This is something we'd expect more from a free to play title than a paid app.

We can't help but feel slightly disappointed by the game's final levels. After learning how to use so many different items there's no stages that incorporate everything. Instead the final levels black out the entire screen except a very short circle of light around your character. Tapping the screen before the level starts will light up the map and you'll need to memorize where everything is because when you you touch the screen again Rez will be begin running. If anything, it's more frustrating and annoying than they are challenging, especially when you factor in moving elements like robots and platforms which require precise timing for when you should begin running.

Despite the massive number of stages, 360 of them in total, "Galaxy Run" is surprisingly short with our gameplay taking just under two hours to complete them all. Of course, "Galaxy Run" isn't meant to play played non-stop but in short bites while out doing errands.

Positives:

  • Challenging bite-sized platforming.
  • Engaging soundtrack.
  • Create and share clips with friends via social networks.

Negatives:

  • Builds up in complexity without the payoff of any levels that use all of the moves you've learned.

Please note this review was based off a free review code provided by Spiel Studios.

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