Nov 25, 2013
Yes, I watched Hunger Games. I have two daughters, okay? Yes, I cheered Katniss on. Yes, I rooted for her district. And yes, I was ecstatic for her and Peeta.
Don’t judge me. It was quality time with my kids. It’s also why I was quite happy to take Hunger Games: Panem Run for a spin.
It’s a running game in the same vein as Temple Run, but I think with a little more functional pizzaz. It is built with the same general three-lane concept, with the top down view of the running character. As with most games of this type, there are plenty of obstacles to prevent long runs; the chasers here are the fearsome engineered tracker jacker wasps. Gesture actions control the movements of the runner; swiping left to the right moves the runner one step in either direction, while swiping up invokes jumping and swiping down makes the runner take a ducking slide. Gold collectibles and powerups line the raceway, and be collected by running or jumping into them.
One element is the ability to craft better weapons that increase attributes. Using materials procured during runs, it is possible to use cash to upgrade stuff like arrows. Another excellent feature is the incorporation of multiplayer capabilities, which allows competition between Facebook friends and/or random opponents.
The scenery is definitely one of the better parts of the game. The action is well crafted, and there is enough variation to keep the gameplay mostly fresh. From the way the running lanes condense to one lane to one lane and back again, to the varying backdrops, to the quality and creativity of the obstacles: it all comes together quite well. The graphics are glossy slick, with smooth animations and an enviable attention to detail.
The crafting process seemed a bit convoluted, but the straightforward points/game cash system mostly makes up for it. Real cash can be used, but isn’t mandatory to play.
It’s a tasty game that somehow is not a boring endless runner, and being free to play is the cherry on top.