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I've Got to Run: Complete Edition Review

A few months ago, I got a copy of the original I've Got to Run for the Wii U to review. While I didn't see much in terms of overall excitement, it became a recommended purchase due to the overall cheap price and the fact that it hooked my son more than Mario Kart 8 for a while. The game's "Complete Edition" now heads to the Wii U's handheld sibling, albeit at a higher price point. It it worth your time to hop along the kitchen counters again?

If, for some reason, I've Got to Run on the Wii U was your perfect game, then absolutely you should pick up this game. It's a wonderful "master edition" of the original, including more modes (single jump, double jump, special, reverse, flip, flight, and expert), and a redesigned jump  that feels a lot more solid than the floaty way our main hero jumped around in the first iteration of this game. The backgrounds are updated to 3D, the platforms are varied and look to be part of the world rather than 2D panels that jut from the bottom of the screen. Even though there's no difference in gameplay with them, the extra characters (some guest stars from other famous indie games) are welcome and provide some variety. The portability of this game on the 3DS also guarantees you will find yourself booting it up a lot quicker than it's older brother on the Wii U. 

At first, the price point is a bit rough from a "gut instinct" point of view. After all, you can get endless runners on any iPhone and the like for 99 cents. I've Got to Run has two benefits that make it worthwhile though: since quite literally all you do is jump (and this is an indie game made by someone not out for squeezing blood out of a turnip/your wallet), there's no in-game app purchases, no waiting for lives and retrying (the game has a split second between death and starting over), so what you have is a full game experience. I'd buy a game on my iPhone for $5 if I knew it had everything I'd ever need for it. Secondly, the 3DS is a perfect venue for such a game: you get the upgrade of real 3D effects and you aren't covering the action of the game with your thumbs as you tap and swipe. Lastly, there's the genius behind the development that most everyone who plays the game will never know: the technology that creates the random levels actually guarantees that every jump is 10% possible. If you were perfect, you could make this a literal "endless runner" unlike many that just keep speeding up until the randomness throws an oddball curve your way that there's no way you could ever overcome. This special challenge presses me further than if it were akin to Flappy Bird, where you just go, and who knows if it's even possible. These points, combined with the new unique options and designs, make this a package worth consuming.

I won't spoil the special guest stars for you, but I can say that the new modes make lovers of the original game very happy. The basic jumping takes on a whole new meaning in the "endless flight" mode, where you get 7 extra "double jumps" before you have to land, and buzzsaws are flying across the screen as well. It turns from a game of strategy, to one of risk and reward. Getting a higher score in this version really feels like an accomplishment. The in-game unlocks of extra modes and secret characters are more of an oversight to get you to try everything, as I was able to unlock all options within fifteen minutes of playing. I do like how it keeps track of not only your highest score, but the date you achieved it and the last attempts available on the bottom screen. It's all you need to keep track of your exploits on getting Roy and friends further along in the level.

Endless runners have always been a bane of mine. I love games with points. Not the high-score kind, but the ends to the means. I want to know my game has a purpose. I've Got to Run: Complete Edition reaches closer to that than any previous endless runner I've played simply due to it's underlying mechanic wherein I know that every single jump is 100% completable. It gives me a direction and purpose. Syrenne McNulty (sole creator of 4 Corner Games) has a few more interesting games up her sleeves, and I'm extremely excited to see what this new developer has in store.


I've Got to Run!: Complete Edition is available on the 3DS eShop for $4.99, or the core experience of the original can be had on the Wii U for $1.99. A review copy was provided by 4 Corner Games.

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