Retro themed games are really starting to find their center on the iOS platform. While they aren’t exactly flooding the marketplace, gems like Karoshi, Forget Me Not, Kami Retro, and League of Evil are gracing iTunes more and more these days. The latest entry to the iOS retro family is “Mos Speedrun“: an old school platformer with an adorable lady bug mascot.
Speedrun’s premise is simple: get to the end of the level without falling onto spikes, or becoming an insidious enemies’ lunch. While it all sounds well and fun, is it worth the $1.99 asking price? Read on to find out.
Like most touch screen retro games, Mos Speedrun gives you two options: classic style arrows with a jump button, and a “two finger” iOS scheme. Essentially, each side of the screen signifies a direction, and pressing both sides at once will cause your hero to jump. Unfortunately, both of these schemes have their own problems. The classic style is problematic if you have fat fingers, as a lot of your real estate is going to be blocked by your chubby nubs. A quick fix for this would be an update that separates the control interface and the game itself, but as it stands, you’ll have to make due. The iOS style is incredibly hard to navigate, and in my opinion, isn’t really usable on the later levels (at least in comparison to the classic style). Because of this, purists may want to avoid the game if they can’t handle the classic control scheme.
As previously mentioned, getting to the end of the game’s twenty levels isn’t your sole goal. One medal each is earned for completion, grabbing all the coins in a level, stealing the hidden skull treasure, and going under the par time limit. Along the way, you’ll encounter enemy bugs, zombies, jumping fireballs, and of course, every platform protagonist’s worst nightmare: giant spikes of doom. Speedrun has a lot of homages to past games such as Sonic and Mario 3, but at the same time, it feels inherently unique. There’s plenty of variation in terms of the setting and enemy selection to keep you going, and like most iOS titles, it isn’t unrealistic to expect an update with more levels in the future.
Thankfully, the fact that there’s that additional medal awarded for a speed run really adds to the game’s replay value. In all likelihood, you’re not going to get the speed medal in any level you’re playing for the first time, provided that you’re going coin and/or treasure hunting. While it may seem like a cheap trick to force players to beat a level twice, it really helps add to the overall package: when you go back to a level the second time, you’re likely to see it in a whole new light, given how robust the designs are. Achievement lovers will also no doubt rejoice at full Gamer Center support.
Mos Speedrun doesn’t really do anything above and beyond the call of duty, but retro fans craving a challenge are sure to find yet another hidden gem in this title. While it isn’t as good as, say, League of Evil, it’s a pretty solid companion game for any retronauts out there.
Gamer Limit gives Mos Speedrun an 8/10
You can buy it here