Firefly Runner iOS review

Firefly Runner iOS review

Almost three years after it first touched down, Jetpack Joyride remains one of the best left-to-right endless runners on the App Store (and indeed Google Play), with tons of missions and game-changing upgrades and whatnot.

Red Kit Games’ Firefly Runner (App Store/Google Play) feels comparatively tame, almost like it’s been too busy smoking the wacky baccy to make any sort of effort.

Surprisingly, there’s a decent amount of blurb on the Firefly Runner App Store (and again Google Play) description, as there’s not really much going on.

Essentially, you control Switch the firefly as he automatically moves along the screen from left to right. Left to his own devices, Switch will happily run along the ground; tapping on the left hand side makes him fly, while a tap on the right fires cherries.

Along the way, you’ll repeatedly encounter four enemy creatures, namely “grumpy” hornets, “burping” slugs, “scuttling” spiders and “mischievous” praying mantises.

The praying mantises are the only ones doing anything of vague interest. Specifically, they man little traps that necessitate some close-to-the-ground flying.

Uhm, the only other Firefly Runner gameplay elements of note are a loop-de-loop, and a cave that tasks you with staying in the middle of the screen. And, er, that’s about the size of it.

Firefly Runner iOS review

On the whole, Firefly Runner feels almost like it’s been sedated. It’s remarkably simple – and not necessarily in a good way. I wondered if it was perhaps aimed primarily at kids, but I can’t see any mention of that anywhere.

Pros include the visuals (it looks rather nice, admittedly, with varied backgrounds) and the oddly catchy theme tune, while the cons are largely comprised of things that aren’t present.

Where are the missions? The upgrades? The power-ups? The different characters? Hell, Firefly Runner doesn’t even bother throwing in the obligatory magnet, which must be a first for the endless runner genre.

Firefly Runner is also rather slow-paced, which gives credence to the aforementioned wacky baccy criticism. It plays a little something like this: shoot hornet… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… collect light orbs… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… shoot slug. Seriously, five seconds is a long time to be doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in a game like this.

Ending on a vague positive, 15% of revenue from in-app purchases (i.e. paying 69p to remove ads) goes towards the Gamesaid and Special Effect charities.

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Oddly catchy tune
  • It’s free

Cons

  • Slow paced with long pauses in action
  • No missions or power-ups
  • Is it aimed at toddlers?

Summary: Firefly Runner doesn’t necessarily do anything wrong, per se, as an endless runner. The problem is that it doesn’t really do much of anything, period.

Developer: Red Kit Games

Price: free @ App Store, free @ Google Play

Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Firefly Runner iOS review

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