It’s been three years since Adult Swim Games released the endless runner that dashed into the hearts of millions online. A robot unicorn with a rainbow mane, running and jumping through a land of floating platforms of rock, with purple grass on them, all to the tune of new wave group Erasure’s 1994 song, Always. We’ve come a long way since then: endless runner games are pretty popular on iOS and Android devices with things like Temple Run and its sequel, Subway Surfers, and Canabalt, and Robot Unicorn Attack has gone through holiday and heavy metal remakes, Android, iOS, and Facebook versions, and a version that turns you into different animals after you dash enough stars.
The evolution of Robot Unicorn Attack continues today with a new game, Robot Unicorn Attack 2, a new endless runner with our favorite unicorn and some new features thrown in. It’s available on iOS (iPod Touch and iPhone) now for FREE, and an Android version will be coming at some point as well.
From PikPok (who also put out Monsters Ate My Condo! with Adult Swim Games), the new RUA has a whole bunch of new features the old games didn’t have. And, when you’ve got a retina screen? Hoo boy, it’s a nice looking game. And the niceness has variety: the worlds you race through will change their layouts every single day. A nice touch.
At the surface, it’s a lot like the other versions of the game. The main gameplay is pretty much the same: jump when you need to jump from platform to platform, double jump when the jump is longer or there are things to collect that are higher, and dash through stars so they don’t kill you (and also for points). But there’s a little bit of newness thrown in to the equation, like collection of game currency, a sort of glowing gem-coin object that lets you purchase boosts and more. Also, there are boosts. And more.
If you’re used to this kind of game, you’re used to boosts and customization. RUA2 gives you both. There are 12 boosts you can unlock in-game. Boosts include your standard runner boost fare, like a magnet or vacuum boost that sucks in all of the game currency for you so you can use it on more boosts (you have to spend to use ‘em. You equip before your first wish in a run, costing about 269 coins each, and they last for as long as they’re meant to last in the beginning of each of your three wishes) and a boost that helps you just run through one star instead of dashing, in case you mess up. Along with boosts, the currency can be used for customizing your unicorn with different horns, manes, wings, bodies, and different beams that go behind your unicorn like the rainbow one that comes default. Each one changes something about your guy: acceleration, length of your dash, your ability to fly (you can fly now!), jumping abilities, and how fast you run.
The coins can also be used to give yourself another try. When you finish a wish, and you’re not too happy with how you did, you can pay an amount of coins (100 for Wish 1, 200 for 2, 300 for 3) to go ahead and run it again and try to bring up that score. Relatively happy with all three but not enough overall score? Pay 500 and get yourself another, fourth wish to bring that score up. It’s a nice new addition, and it helps you finish daily challenges or missions that help you rank up.
Outside of using in-game money to buy upgrades, you can also use real-life money to change your music in-game. Each track is 99 cents and comes with a 500 coin extra. Amongst the tracks are Blind Guardian’s Battlefield, and, of course, Erasure’s Always. There are 5 tracks in all that are in-app purchases that you can get to change your experience.
Along with customization and boosts, the game also throws some new stuff at you both in gameplay and outside of it. You’re used to dashing stars in Robot Unicorn Attack, but now stars aren’t the only big things you need to dash through to survive. There are giants, who have beams coming out of them, who will hurt you and kill you if you run into them. So what’s your only choice? Dash through ‘em. Easy enough. But it gets difficult and presents a decent enough challenge when they show up– you’re already going fairly quickly at that point and they’re usually in an area that has several platforms around him, making it super dangerous to try to just hop over or around. You’ll crash if you do. The platforms also mean that there are levels– no longer are you stuck on that one level you start on, you can go up or down. A few times, I missed a jump and fell, only to find myself on a lower level platform, or I jumped way too much to find myself on a platform all the way in the sky. These are nice additions, because, of course, you can still fall past them to your death, or you can jump into the sky too high and perish– but they give you a second chance if you land. Plus, you can avoid giants sometimes if you’ve fallen or risen.
The game has missions, like most runner games do now, and completing each (usually, they’re to collect specific amounts of coins or points or dash x amount of stars) will rank you up, unlocking more options. Rank 15 unlocks Ice World. Rank 4 or 5 unlocks your customization options. Rank 6 and 7 unlock things that are more new and interesting: community goals, daily goals, and Team Inferno/Team Rainbow. Community and daily goals are goals to complete daily for coins and ranks. The teams, though, are much cooler: there’s a daily Online Battle between the two to see who’s superior. I chose Inferno, who are far, far behind in the battle today, which is to see who dashes the most stars. The battles have a countdown, and once they’re over, the winning team receives a prize (today is 500 coins), and the clock resets, so the teams can battle anew. And if you ever get disillusioned by your choice, you can swap teams like a traitor for 2000 coins.
I’ve been playing the game for a few hours, only stopping now that my iPod battery died on me, and I gotta say, I’m genuinely enjoying it a lot. It looks nice, the gameplay is as simple as RUA has always been and as addicting as games like these tend to be, and all of the new features keep me into it. I want to beat Team Rainbow pretty bad, and I also want all of the different unicorns. I want Ice World, and I want to get this actually sort of challenging daily challenge (to get 100+ coins in one wish, oof) down. It’s not really much of a surprise that the game is fun, but how fun it actually is. And it’s pretty nice for it to be a free game this time. There are ads, but they are few, and you can just close them pretty quickly.
The game is really quite fun, and it’s all FREE on iOS (Android will be out eventually, and when it is, we’ll let you know both that it’s here and how good it is). So, clear some space on your iPod Touch or iPhone, and get ready to wish, y’all.
Five undashed stars out of five.
Click to pick up Robot Unicorn Attack on iTunes.