Last year about this time, rumors were running rampant about a retina display coming to the iPad, and during the build-up there was some speculation by developers on what a retina iPad screen would do to their apps. Kevin Ng was the first to post 2048 x 1536 screenshots of the game he had in the works, entitled Food Run. Now, after another year in development Food Run has finally scampered into the App Store, and yes it looks gorgeous on the retina iPad. The game is an auto-running platform a bit like Run Roo Run, but this time you’re guiding food to safety.
Each level begins with an egg, and your goal is to collect the other trapped food stuffs, and all of the coins before reaching the exit. The game is definitely packed with personality and style when seeing the food in action, and again the graphics are absolutely beautiful. In terms of the actual gameplay, Food Run is an oddity because of the level balance. There are 40 levels across four game worlds, but the first 10 are too easy to even count as part of the game.
Once you get to the second world the game officially starts, but the oddity of the level design is that the difficulty increases dramatically. By the time you reach the third set of levels, you’ll be begging for some form of checkpoints, and the earlier levels just don’t prepare you for that difficulty. Part of the challenge of the game sadly lies in the controls which don’t allow for the precision necessary for some of the complex stretches. You have to slam your finger on the screen with perfect timing to double jump off of an enemy, which is an essential skill. Also, the game has such slow and methodical pacing that you know what to do, but execution is difficult, especially after it lulls you to sleep.
Food Run ($2.99, Universal) has an exceptional design, but the actual gameplay is lacking making it worth skipping.