There are so many different types of games on iOS with new ideas all the time, and yet the trend seems to simplify everything into just a few different types. Manuganu is a new game that merges a few genres together as it provides bits of platformer with endless runner to provide a side scrolling adventure. Rather than an endless affair, there are 30 concrete levels across three different environments. Manuganu is the main character, and he runs automatically allowing you to simply control a specific number of actions to jump between platforms, dodge swinging hammers, slide under spikes, and more.
The familiar platformer aspects are included, and it’s extremely accessible with just two buttons, and swipe gestures. One button is for jump, while another is to halt allowing you to stop your automatic runner when approaching swinging dangers. Then you can swipe down to slide, and through these three actions you can wall jump, roll, break blocks, hover, and more. The overall style has been seen multiple times before as in Rock Runners, Tin Man Can, Spunk and Moxie, Team Awesome, Chop Chop Ninja World, One Tap Hero, This Could Hurt, and others that simplify the classic platformer with an auto-runner style. The result leaves a relatively passive experience as you’re taken out of most of the action, and simply playing a timing tapping game.
In Manuganu especially, there just isn’t much challenge, and the levels really blend together. The worst part is that Manuganu looks so promising, and yet comes up so short when actually playing. The game looks great with fast paced action on the surface, but the actual game is relatively slow moving with virtually no difficulty, and little flow. One odd design element is that the gaps for jumps are further than the character can regularly jump so he often has to grab on, and climb up which kills momentum and flow of a level, and it happens on most jumps. It’s nice to see a level set-up rather than just an endless game that is combined with easy pick up and play style, and high quality 3D graphics, but it just doesn’t come together to make a good game. The level design is basic, the pacing is stop and go, and the entire experience is just so rudimentary.
Manuganu ($0.99, Universal) is sadly one to skip despite the promising outlook simply because it’s just another bland entry into the App Store that you’ve seen before, and will see again, hopefully with a little more action.