Run Fox Run Hands-On Preview

Ok, so normally I would refrain from giving an upcoming game anything even approaching a definite appraisal until the end product has been released onto the App Store, but having put a beta build of Chris Johns’ Cocos2D powered Run Fox Run through its paces, I’m just gonna come out and say it: barring any major last-minute cock-ups, this slick little side-scroller has smash-hit written all over it!

Despite outward appearances, Run Fox Run isn’t the garden-variety endless running romp/Canabalt knock-off one might have been expecting based on early screenshots (such as the one above). Now, while Chris does cite Semi Secret Software’s parkour phenomenon as a primary inspiration behind his iOS debut, it’s obvious Super Mario Bros and a mish-mash of other 2D classics have also informed the title’s overall design and gameplay. As such, I imagine retro gamers in particular will appreciate Run Fox Run’s old school aesthetic and catchy chiptune-style soundtrack while everyone else will undoubtedly be lured in by the promise of a lengthy level based story mode, an insanely addictive ‘endless’ option, and intuitive, one-touch controls.

Story mode sees a heroic red fox travelling through portals and traversing a diverse array of surreal locales while you frantically tap anywhere on the screen to leap from platform to platform, bound over deadly spikes, and bop as many enemies on the head as possible.

Why? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure as the comic book-style story panels that will tell little foxy’s tale hadn’t yet been added to the pre-release build we received, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing through this segment of the game all the same. Stunning visuals, a simple but interesting combo system, innovative power ups, welcome surprises like boss battles (!) and utterly fantastic level design all conspire to make Run Fox Run one of the more varied and exciting retro platformers I’ve yet to play on iOS.

In addition to the main game, Run Fox Run will also boast an infinite survival mode (be forewarned, it really is super-addictive!), unlockable characters, Game Center and Openfeint integration for online leaderboards and achievements and, get this, neat hidden easter eggs such as the main menu and credits screens doubling as mini-games! In other words, everything you’d expect from a game of this ilk and much, much more!

Intrigued? Of course you are! Be sure to keep an eye on the Run Fox Run’s official site and follow the developer’s Twitter feed for more info (and hopefully a teaser trailer or gameplay video) as this one nears release. iFanzine will have a more in-depth review ready to go when Run Fox Run races onto the App Store in roughly a month’s time.