Populus Run is Apple Arcade’s answer to Jungle Run and even Fall Guys. By no means is the title groundbreaking as the previously mentioned games, it is equally fun.
There is no story to follow or any memorable characters to emotionally attach to. However, this title doesn’t need those selling points. The gameplay & cartoon visuals is more than enough to cater what players would look for in this game.
The Very Purpose of Populus Run
Many games do have a sub-story, whether it’s to make players think about a certain subject. A good example is Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. The game guides players to understand the environment & the effect on animals. Populus Run doesn’t serve a particular purpose.
Populus Run is a perfect game for handheld devices, like the iPhone. The visuals sit well within a small frame, as well as bigger bezels such as an iPad. But the fact that its best designed for a phone, this game is the ideal quick game to play whilst waiting for a bus for example.
So What Can Players Expect?
As mentioned beforehand, don’t expect a plot or a reason to why a group of characters are running through a variety of levels. Not only this the mass crowd also looks to take crowns from each level bosses, despite no reason to why royalty is the enemy. Perhaps the crowd is uprising from an oppressive regime, but only one can ponder.
Crowds are the players health bar, allow me to explain. At the beginning of each level players operate approximately four characters. As the player progresses they then gather more bodies for the crowd, each body is a health point. If a body touches any obstacle they then die and the crowd becomes thinner. Once all participants die, the level resets. A unique approach to a health system, but one that I like.
Is It The Perfect Mobile Game?
With it being suited for mobile users, how does this game fair up to the rest?One thing about mobile games is that it’s available to a diverse audience, due to many people own a smart phone. For this review, I’m going to ignore that it’s exclusive for Apple Arcade and look at the game itself.
There are on screen controls (as well as controller support too). The on screen controls are simple to understand and to use. However, the responsiveness isn’t as crisp as the rest of the game. Despite these flaws it’s more than enough for players to use and to have an enjoyable experience. Capable controls are necessary for a mobile game, but I’d recommend a Bluetooth controller.
Gorgeous Visuals, But One Note Audio
The visuals are gorgeous to say the least, with bright colours that’ll keep players engaged. Majority of the character models are basic but each one moves in a unique manor that’s humorous. Enemy models like King Macaroni is just the beginning of the most unique character designs known to man.
Although the characters aren’t special, the environment & obstacles is the true appeal. Oversized food groups and level design that is set to challenge players is a treat to play with. Tunnels with gaps missing that aims to catch players out is another treat.
The audio is interesting to say the least as dialogue is lacking other than a simple greeting when characters join the group. The music that is present is lively and matches the pace of the gameplay. The vocals for the soundtrack become irritating fast. Throughout the levels soundtrack the levels name gets repeated over again and again, becoming hard to enjoy.
Populus Run is a very fun game indeed, confusing due to no backstory if one really thinks about it, but a story is unnecessary. Fun visuals & characters with an equally fun and challenging level design is dented by the soundtrack & touch controls.
Despite this, the overall experience is an enjoyable one and is a game that Apple Arcade subscribers ought to try out. I give this title an overall score of 7/10.
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