Mr. Runner 2: The Masks isn’t your typical mobile runner. What sets it apart is its mechanics. The goal isn’t always to consistently run, per se, but to do it when needed and slow down when required. The game is set on a 2D plane with a simple animated background that Mr. Runner traverses across.
The game starts with a comic book strip explaining the story. Mr. Runner has his face locked in a safe, and he is on a search for the key. It is shown that a man in a mask has the key and jumps into a phone, of all places, to escape with it. Mr. Runner has to run through multiple paintings in an effort to recover the key.
The game never bores the eyes with its presentation due to the vibrant color scheme of the game. Mr. Runner 2 pays homage to some classic Nintendo franchises such as Pokémon and Duck Hunt. As the character sprints (and halts) through the level, he follows a creature with a familiar thunder bolt-shaped tail. All this is done while scaring away ducks that unmistakably resemble Duck Hunt. Regardless of the game not being optimized for the iPhone 5 and some of the animations being chuggy, the game never ceases to make you smile with its quirky style and sense of humor.
The goal of each level’s run is to make it to the end while hopefully collecting as many coins and stars as possible. Many obstacles stand in the way of victory. Each bundle of levels has a theme and the “collapse”–be it a large barrier, water, or more bizarre ones in later levels–rises and crashes down every couple of seconds. There is debris that is hurled at Mr. Runner which adds to the enjoyable challenge of the game. When success is had in dodging, he has many phrases and poses he delivers. It’ a treat whenever he struts and yells catchphrases like “Amaze-balls” or “Slinkster.”
Controls are basic with the player only needing to tap or hold either the left or right side of the screen to run or break. Mr. Runner never truly stops completely, and this is where another one of the challenges presents itself in the game. While slowing down, momentum will reduce to a slower pace rather than freezing in a certain state. With this, there is a chance for Mr. Runner to skip right under a crushing platform or a crashing waterfall. As the dangerous journey goes on, items can be collected. There are revives, which are items that can be used to continue the run if crushed; coins; locks and chests for more experience; and three stars per level that completionists will find entertaining to collect.
The game is organized into five sections in the form of paintings. Each painting contains eight levels that are capped off with an escape from a boss. As you make it through these levels successfully, experience points are gained and eventually levels are raised. The game is fun and challenging in just the right ways. The game also has plenty of achievements to achieve and unlockables to unlock.
GameVision Games does a lot right in the game and little to harm the experience. The title has many things to offer and keeps things simple. Levels are diverse as you trek through land, sea, and even upwards. As you leap, run, and sprint, it’s very intense as anticipation for “the drop” builds. I only wish the game had more complexity to keep things from going stale after completing it. The game doesn’t give much to go back to; it’s just playing the same levels over again.
Mr. Runner 2: The Masks was reviewed on an iPhone 5 running iOS 6, with a review code provided by the developer. For more information on how Indie Game Insider conducts reviews, check out our review policies.