The runner genre is one that offers gamers challenging levels that test your reflexes through jumping and careful button presses. Through mixing things up, you get fun experiences that can be played in short bursts. Geki Yaba Runner is an example of a runner game that despite being quite simple, still offers a lot of content. Lets race across the land and collect all the socks as we explore fantasy worlds in this running adventure.
The story is very simple, with your main character running across the games levels to save the princess of the land. Due to being a gnome however, he desires collecting all the socks across his travels. Outside of this basic set up, the story isn’t that deep. But it’s a good excuse to run through the games many levels! Each level has your character running right constantly. Having the ability to hover the air by holding down the jump button and making jumps, you collect all the socks in each level to progress. How this works though is flexible, despite pushing you to get all the socks you can only get the mandated amount before moving on to the next level.
This allows the game to not feel frustrating but offer added replay value upon repeated runs. Level design is key for runner titles and it’s quite strong here. Fun gimmicks like air currents that extend your glide and different forms for your character by pressing the D-Pad in different directions (which you earn after completing a section of the world map) are just some of the many ways levels mix things up.
While the core gameplay is very simple and the overall level design is quite good, my biggest issue with this title is how boring it can be if you play it for long spurts. The levels start bleeding into each other and it gets stale. Thankfully, this title is built to be ‘pick up and play’, so you can just drop a level and come back whenever you feel ready.
What helps you come back to the game is the nice art style, as through using a fantasy setting it has some variety. Exploring through basic forests, dangerous caves and more gives visually stimulating changes to make levels feel different and character animations are nicely detailed. Show cut-scenes (using still images) that play from time to time are charming as well, giving your character additional personality.
Sound is where things falter with the presentation as the music gets repetitive over time. Not many tracks are present and it adds to the fact levels can feel similar to one another. Thankfully the sound effects are nice, giving impact to every action you perform in-game. They don’t get old and there is enough audible variety to make things interesting.
To fully complete this title, it can take a few hours. Fully completing the game by collecting every sock in the many levels will extend game-length an extra two hours, as it can be quite tricky to get them all in a single run. Overall the game is long enough and offers additional value if you 100% every single level.
Geki Yaba Runner is a fun 2D action/runner that offers fun platforming through solid level design, making it a rewarding experience despite getting stale upon long play sessions. I can recommend this title if you are looking for a fun pick up and play game for your PlayStation Vita.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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