Sidescroller: Apps that make your thumbs do the running

“Worm Run” has you on the move from  creatures right out of “Tremors" Credit: Golden Ruby Games
“Worm Run” has you on the move from creatures right out of “Tremors.”
Credit: Golden Ruby Games

The iPad and its feisty little brother the iPhone are known the world over for being fantastic gaming machines. One genre that particularly shines on their glossy, fingerprint-laden screens? Endless runners. The best of the genre, like “Temple Run” and “Jetpack Joyride,” offer an addictive experience that is perfect for bite-sized gaming sessions. Here are a few new titles vying for “best of” status.

‘Robot Unicorn Attack 2’
Company: Adult Swim Games
System: iPad/iPhone
Cost: Free
Rating: 5 (out of 5) Globes

The first “Robot Unicorn Attack” was a joyous, cacophonous experience that could only come from the warped minds at Adult Swim. This sequel amps up just about everything you loved in the original. There are more power-ups for your unicorn, an even better synth-based soundtrack and a fantastic mission-based structure.

There’s also a unique online mode. You are assigned a team, good or evil, and everything you do works toward your team’s total score. The course you run changes daily, so you can’t cheat and memorize every nook and cranny. This is a “freemium” game, but RUA2 manages to avoid most of the associated pitfalls. It’ll ask for money every now and again, but the prompts are easy to ignore.

‘Worm Run’
Company: Golden Ruby Games
System: iPad/iPhone
Cost: $1
Rating: 5 (out of 5) Globes

“Worm Run” is a surreal mix of endless running and survival horror. The end result of this odd mash-up? A total adrenaline-fueled and frantic rush. The game tasks you as a spaceman who is being chased by a giant worm, “Tremors”-style. You have to run, climb and jump your way to freedom. Unfortunately, that danged worm never lets up, and freedom is short-lived at best. Maybe it’s an analogy for life, or my last marriage. Ba-dum-dum.

The controls are entirely swipe-based, which works marvelously. The precision required to avoid that giant, bloodthirsty worm makes the game a better fit for the iPad’s large screen, however. Even on the iPhone, though, it is totally worth a buck.


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