The release of Running With Scissors :: Pre-Season, marks sLeek games’ debut in the App Store bringing with them a unique new way of utilizing the iPhone’s multi-touch screen technology. Your objective is simple, cross the finish line first. To run in-game, get this, you run on-screen…with your fingers!
One of the concerns raised about the game was the amount of work involved in moving your character. Rapid finger swiping could get tiring and old pretty fast. To remedy that, sLeek games put a tactical aspect into the game, so that you essentially only need to “run” for a few seconds while your energy bar fills up. At that point you can then “fly,” so for the next few seconds you get a chance to rest your fingers while your character is basically just coasting along at top speed. Flying allows you to avoid the ground obstacles and would also be an opportune time to place obstacles against the other characters. To place obstacles, you need to access the tactical menu bar, which automatically rises from the energy bar shortly after you stop your “running.” By waiting until you’re in the air, you can optimize your race by keeping your speed up while you’re on the ground.
The How To is exhaustive and as such, may be potentially overwhelming to look through and if you’re apt to skip straight to the game, you might consider turning on the tutorial in the Options menu on your first run to make the best of your game. I’m glad sLeek games decided to put both of them into the game since I found the tutorial pretty helpful in learning the ropes and eventually used the How To as a reference for details I was curious about.
After every race, there are scratchers with which you can win coins, items and clothing to equip your character with, all of which add obstacle bonuses to your character (I am wearing a pirate hat). Coins can also be used to unlock new maps. The ability to customize and enhance your character is always one of the most sought after feature for many games, so I was quite happy to see RWS::PS include that.
The music is a loop of epic-sounding melodies (think pre-game pump-up music vis-à-vis Eye of the Tiger) which, like the sound effects, you have the option of turning off. The graphics are clean and contrast between the simple solid colored stick figure and the more realistically textured background was a point of amusement for me.
There is only one major bug in the game that causes the Main Menu to be unresponsive after a game, however that problem is fixed in the upcoming update. Another thing to note is that the “finger running area” is placed on the right side of the screen. As a lefty, I found it a little awkward to play with the “finger running area” being on the right side of the screen. However, the placement of those controls make sense with the game and while I wouldn’t go as far as demanding a Lefty version, I do think it’s something to consider for my fellow lefties before purchasing the game. At $4.99, it’s pricier than a lot of other games in the App Store, so keep an eye out for the release of their Lite version (currently in Apple Review) if you’re still on the fence about RWS::PS. [Update: The Lite version has now been released, and they have cut the price to $2.99]
Running With Scissors:: Pre-Season is a pretty straightforward and entertaining game. At first, I thought I would tire of it quickly but found myself returning to it again and again. Check out the video demo below to get a taste for yourself.
Here is a video demo of the Running With Scissors Pre-Season app on the iPhone
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