Hey guys it’s Sam, and it’s time to get your game face on, a term which proudly entitles our game-reviewing system, using charts, scoreboards, and my own words to make this little handy number. This one’s gonna be a bit strange, but at the same time, a bit familiar. Everyone’s probably adapted to the running genre, right? The games where you control a player that runs for an indefinite, possibly infinite period of time, usually with the plot of running from something. Some examples include Gravity Guy, a Miniclip hit now at your local App Store, as well as Temple Run, a critically acclaimed pick that redefined the term “freemium”. Well, speaking of free apps, today’s centric topic is indeed a free game. But beware, as this is not your usual running game. You’ve got a few choices: run and succeed, get caught by the enemy, or fall victim to the various types of hazards. He’s done with falling, but now he’s running…and “he” is Running Fred.
It was just recently updated this year, and this anticipated sequel seems like more than your money’s worth. The third-person platformer Running Fred, a game made by the creators of Falling Fred and its zombified sequel Falling Fred Z, is the “threequel” of the Fred series, after Falling Fred and Falling Fred Z. Last time, you avoided as many traps as possible while plummeting to your doom. Now, you’re avoiding as many traps as possible from fleeing from your doom. This time, an angel-of-death manifestation known as Grimmy (terrorificus unavoidabilis) will show you the ropes of the game. Automatically after that, in a state of irony, he reveals himself as the game’s antagonist as well as the reason for the game name (someone to be “running” from). Now, poor Fred (panicus in extremis) is fleeing from an armed Grimmy while also avoiding hazards and picking up silver or golden coins called “Skullies”. First, you should probably know that this game has intense violence for the masses, interpreting Fred’s gruesome deaths in bloody and gory manners. If you make it to the end of a level, the first thing you will see afterward is the amount of Skullies you picked up on the way. But it breaks down specially, as every five silver Skullies are worth one golden Skullie. Kinda like how in the wizarding world, 29 K’nuts make up one Sickle. For example, let’s visualize it like this: at the end of a level, you collect ninety Skullies (it’s not impossible, folks). Since every five silvers are worth one gold, 90 divided by 5 = 18, so you would have 18 golds. Now, those golden Skullies go toward your collection, which you can then spend in the in-game shop. You can purchase from 3 categories in the said shop: outfits, levels, and abilities.
Outfits are basically costumes that Fred can equip, and most of them are homages or parodies from media. That means you can buy something that would make you look like Indiana Jones, Mario, Skyrim‘s Dovahkiin/Dragonborn, the Terminator, someone from Tron‘s virtual Grid world, Forrest Gump (most specifically, from Run Forrest Run!), heck and even Freddy Krueger. But don’t come in expecting to buy out the whole shop in one stock. The most expensive outfit in the shop is Fred Spartan at 30,000 Skullies. But there are others that range around the $1,000 area, and some that even go cheaper than that, and the cheapest one you can find is Life Down Shirt at just 79 Skullies. But when the shop’s really getting you down, and if you have a chock full of spare money, you could buy freemium purchases that give you Skullies without the hassles. At 99 cents, the 2,000-Skully pack is the cheapest one in the market. But at $30, the 150k-Skully pack is the most expensive. So, yeah. Now you know that when you come in this shop expecting to be a sellout, you’re a dead man.
Skills, which I prefer calling abilities, are little perks that you can buy to benefit you while running a level. But, for instance, once you buy Wall Grip, you can’t instantly walk on walls shown in the picture above. You need to upgrade your skills to 5-star levels first, and that doesn’t come easy either. I bought my first-leveled Wall Grip & Bounce as a dirty deed done dirt cheap, but to get to level two I need 200 Skullies, no joke. Pretty soon, when you fully upgrade your abilities, you’ll probably be a ninja for all I know. Skills range from double jumping (the first skill you will get) to extra lives, Skully magnets, wall gripping and bouncing, chicken flapping, quicker recovery, panic power, and even rubber bones. Although that doesn’t compare to the amount of outfits, skills are very handy in the terms of in-game use.
Extra tracks are also available for purchase for less than 500 Skullies apiece, although that there are few of these at only four of them: the Grisly and Endless Manors, and the Danger and Endless Caves. The most expensive track in the shop is the Danger Caves track at 2,500 Skullies, so it may seem worthwhile although my current Skully stock will not enable me to see the quality of it.
Running Fred is a good game that combines violence, humor, excitement, tensity, and then some. Playing much like that of Temple Run, this game very beneficially uses its shop extensions to even the odds a little bit on the tracks. It has a memorable, if slightly shortened, soundtrack, and the atmosphere of the music was very specially represented with the inclusion of the game’s revolutionary visuals. Although the game, much like Falling Fred and FF Z, contains blood & gore for the masses (which acts baffling towards the game’s 9+ rating) from evisceration and disemboweling, and although it goes up to a disturbing level, it makes the game that more interesting. But despite that, the game does have its flaws. Wall gripping & bouncing are very frustrating at first levels of use, and due to the fact that you get damaged just by running into something in front of you and how it takes approximately five seconds to get back up again, this causes frustration and loss of time as well as a chance for Grimmy to catch up and kill you with one swipe of his scythe (which has happened to me numerous times under this circumstance). Running Fred usually repeats its tracks from game session to game session, and apart from the tracks, the game has no source of originality in this case. Outfits can sometimes go beyond unnecessary, some like Naughty Fred burning holes into and onto your brain. At the number of extra tracks there are, and at the amount of times you’re actually gonna play them, that third of the shop is basically useless.
3 out of 5 – Positive messages – Fred’s grim adventure (no pun intended) teaches players that when something approaches you bad enough, you either stand up or (in Fred’s case) run from it, although the latter choice is the lesser one. Running Fred‘s case of trial and error also notes perseverance, which means that even when you end each level with your head not attached to your body, you hit “retry” and keep trying. The usage of the shop also says a message in the term of karma: if you do good, you get good back. Fred’s average terrified image gives people the note that even the biggest wallflower or shyest kid can turn out to be a hero one day, making him a role model. Speaking of role models…
2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Fred is your average terrified little kid, but he still strives to the end through deathly hazards and Grimmy riding his cattails, and in the end he goes from the zero to the hero.
3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of play – The controls are easy to grasp: press the space bar to jump, use left and right to move around (unless it’s a freefall occasion, where you need all directions), and that’s pretty much it on the basics. To wall jump, jump at a wall using the space bar and the arrow in the direction of that wall, and then press the space bar again and the arrow opposite to jump off. To double jump, press the space bar twice in a row. Save for some frustration, these controls combine well.
5 out of 5 – Violence – (Can you believe it folks? This is the first game in any reviewing field known to viewer to get a perfect violence-wise score. That’s not really good, but to each his or her own.) As I warned you earlier, the first thing I told you separate from the game plot, this game has violence by the masses, interpreting Fred’s deaths in bloody and gory manners. Slice-and-dice occurs regularly, such as how Fred can be dismembered from the head and torso. These gruesome deaths are usually caused by hazards that take advantage of our redheaded hero in mid-run, although long plummets are also an alternative cause. Deathly weapons range from spikes (both on a wall and in a group) to “pendulum blades” resembling swinging axes and built-in sawblades that either spin in place or move back and forth. Upon death, the stump where Fred’s torso/head used to be spills out blood. In the game, you might also see skulls and victims’ skeletal remains. If the amount of violence in both the game and this description are disturbing to you, then you can go to the game options and disable the gore. In a goreless game, whenever Fred meets his usually gory end, the game saves us the grisly visuals and takes out all means of blood and gore possible while still showing Fred dying. For example, if one trap severed Fred’s head and began showing blood, in a goreless game it would simply show Fred fall to the ground, in every bloodless and goreless manner. Also consider the following: the game’s villain is freaking Grim Reaper.
1 3/4 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – One outfit called “Fred Undies” fulfills to its name and has Fred wearing nothing but heart-spangled boxer shorts. Another outfit called “Naughty Fred” shows Fred in a punk outfit in a “sexy” pose.
3 out of 5 – Product Placement – Running Fred‘s outfits do reference media, making our hero look like famous icons like “Indiana Jones, Mario, Skyrim‘s Dovahkiin/Dragonborn, the Terminator, someone from Tron‘s virtual Grid world, Forrest Gump (most specifically, from Run Forrest Run!), heck and even Freddy Krueger.”
Smarts: B (3 points)
Play-Again Ratio: A- (3.5 points)
Fun: A (4 points)
Entertainment: A (4 points)
Humor: A- (4 points)
Style: A+ (5 points)
FINAL SCORE: 23.5 OUT OF 30!!! (Well then… :)), 3 12 stars out of 5, 76% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: Frustration and trial-and-error are Running Fred‘s 2 most fatal flaws, but majority rules; there’s no doubt saying that Running Fred is in many aspects a truly brutal running game that gets you more than your money’s worth, although it may be the lesser of two evils.
AVAILABILITY: Not only is it available on the Chrome Web Store as an app, but it’s also on the App Store and in the games division of Google Play, and it is free on both sites.
Well, that’s our goodness for this week, thanks for watching! Make sure to slice that subscribe button up good, and also to like, rate, comment, reblog, share, fart, and stay tuned! Don’t you know what Spain is saying these days?; Nos vemos el viernes! (See you next Friday!) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a Grim Reaper to flee from…
- Sam (Gosh darnit, that’s the sixth smiley face!)
p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…eat the world’s best fast food for the rest of your life, or ambrosia for only one day?
p.p.s. Time for our Random Video o’ the Week! This week goes to yet another Tobuscus video, and it’s a song all about translations, what this song is about, your foreign grandma, and the feeling of being in a gazebo while seeing fifty billion rainbows while the sun & moon are setting at the same time and then God comes down from heaven and gives you a million dollars!…which is normal for Toby. The video’s called “DRAMATIC SONG” (very relevant), and after hitting half a million views in only two days and receiving tons upon tons of speed-ups and even a few covers, this video is nothing short of a must-see. You’re welcome. Jeez, I need to stop doing that! Please excuse me…