Ancient Greek storyteller Aesop would have never imagined that his famous tale The Tortoise and the Hare would find life again in the form on an endless running Android game called Run Sheldon. Thanks to Bee Square, Aesop’s much loved characters come to life again in a renewal of their timeless rivalry. The hare may have lost the race initially, but after years of carrying that bitterness with him, he along with a big bunch of his offspring are ready to bring down the tortoise and reclaim the Golden Racing Trophy. Set in gorgeous environments with beautiful cartoon-styled animations to go with it, Run Sheldon looks like a captivating game, but does it have the necessary elements that make you want to keep playing?
The Evergreen Hero
When I first heard that there was going to be a Tortoise-and-the-Hare inspired Android game, I hoped that I would finally get the chance to exact revenge on the oh-so-righteous tortoise. But alas, the developers have sided on the side of the tortoise AGAIN! In today’s rat race world, being a tortoise doesn’t really get you anywhere. You’ve got to be the hare and make use of your skills effectively to win that trophy. However, in Run Sheldon you must still play the evergreen hero – tortoise Sheldon – running, jumping, and gliding across different environments to thwart the wily efforts of the hares and hold on to the Golden Racing Trophy.
Here a Hare There a Hare Everywhere a…..
The gameplay in Run Sheldon is as easy as they come. Your runs are automatic. You just have to keep tapping on the screen to overcome the bunnies, collect coins and go as far as you possibly can. Those wily bunnies (and they are many) hide in burrows and tree trunks and pop out at the most inopportune moments; they glide in the air and knock a serious punch if you happen to fly by; they also bounce up and down at crazy speeds halting you in your tracks. Some of them are so well camouflaged within their environment that you walk right into them before knowing what hit you.
Typical of any endless runner, powerups are the catalysts that add a zing to the runs. A bouncing bubble, some super wings, a glider, a coin magnet, or a shell shield provides you with some super cool powers to give you just that extra edge to your runs. Coins are galore and can be spent on extra lives, powerup-upgrades and cool outfits. The highlights of the game are the visually appealing environments, initially starting with a run in the grasslands then shifting to dark forests and desert canyons. However the more deeper you delve into the game the more you feel cheated out of a good run. The animations at the later stage behave erratically, your tortoise starts to get a bit wobbly and before you know it, its game over! Also the extra lives start to get way too expensive and you’re forced to abandon a run just when you’re starting to have some fun! I guess that’s the perfect excuse to introduce IAPs.
Run Sheldon has its good points (cute cartoony visuals, lively music, variety of powerups and social integration). But the game could have certainly done with some punchy dialogs that would have lifted it from its monotony and added a bit of personality to the characters. However, the single most disappointment for me in Sheldon Run is a lack of depth and replay value. It certainly feels like running a treadmill with nowhere to progress to and nothing new to savor after a few minutes into play. That said, Run Sheldon may still offer a a few hours of entertainment for the casual timewaster or little kiddies fascinated by our classical heroes. As for me, I’m already moving on in my quest to discover the next big game out there!