Fun Run is an off-the-wall sidescroller developed by DirtyBit Games. It's a hard game to quantify. On one hand it resembles an endless runner, while simultaneously playing like a mix between Sonic and Mario Kart. While that may sound confusing (and it can be at times), it's the violent and over the top style that sticks with you while playing Fun Run. While the gameplay isn't completely unique, the representation is. Without further ado, let's examine it more closely.
Before I even start mentioning the positives and negatives of the game, I think it's important you truly understand what Fun Run is. It's an online competitive racing game that plays out like a sidescroller. There's practice modes, and you can play with just your friends, but the majority of the gameplay is done via “Quick Play”. Quick Play matches you up with three other players from across the globe. After voting on a stage, you race the other players to the end. Levels are varied, but there's a few constants. Scattered throughout the map are power ups much like Mario Kart. These include items such as Lightning, Shield, Speedboost, Rocket Jump, and more. The game is also very quick, with a focus on trying to consistently run as fast as possible while avoiding obstacles. Your character reaches some pretty insane speeds, rivaling Sonic the Hedgehog at times.
As you run at breakneck speeds and jump across the levels platforms, you will encounter traps and items set by other players. When you fall victim to these traps (the most obvious being the bear trap), your character is violently killed with a spray of blood. The overwhelming majority of the game is displayed as cute and fluffy, so the sudden brutal deaths juxtapose the tone of the game well. These two styles match up well, forming a harmony of happy go lucky violence. It's similar in style to the web series “Happy Tree Friends”, if you're familiar with it.
The main drive of Fun Run is to figure out the levels and form dependable routes that lead to the finish. Most of this whittles out to pure mastery of the game and its concepts. Due to that, the rest of the game is a bit bare. There's a nice set of challenges to attempt, and some global leaderboards to look over, but the other main focus is the store. In the store, you can buy a variety of customization pieces for your character. You buy these using tokens, which can be gained through challenges and competition, or purchasing with real money. It's fun to pick out different hats, speed trails, and accessories. Additionally, tokens roll in at a pretty decent rate, so you never feel forced to buy into the micro transactions.
Overall, Fun Run is pretty honest in its titling. It's a game about running that's tons of fun. While I yearned for a bit more polish, I found myself going back to online racing time and time again. It's the combination of light hearted play and quick matches that make it a great “pick up and play” experience. Don't be swayed by your initial impression, Fun Run is hardly just another endless runner. It's a unique take on speed and competition that doesn't often appear on mobile.
Reviewed by Matt