TRON RUN/r Review
TRON RUN/r is one of the most entertaining and spectacular runners around, but that has come at a price.
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TRON RUN/r is an odd little game. Set inside the gloriously neon, digital world of the films, RUN/r is essentially a point-to-point runner in which you tackle levels either on foot or on one of the classic TRON light cycles. There’s also an endless running mode, too, if you want that experience. That might sound a little, well, dull, and a bit of a waste of the TRON licence, but it’s actually pretty enjoyable, albeit perhaps a tad expensive at £14.99.
The bulk of Tron RUN/r comes from the running gameplay, as the title might have suggested to you. As a male or female glowing neon person you run at a fair clip down partially constructed city streets, with recognizers (I had to Wikipedia that) flying overhead, orange enemies throwing discs at you, and bricks blocking your path.
It’s your job to navigate through each perilous construct, wall-running and hovering as you go, gliding through boost rings, sliding under barriers, taking out foes, and activating platforms with your identity disc. The most basic goal is to reach the end of the stage, but in order to earn stars you’ll need to score a lot of points, which will likely require repeated plays unless you’re actually TRON, or D.A.R.Y.L. or another ’80s movie reference. You must collect bits in order to increase your combo, which in turn means you can earn more points. It’s classic score attack stuff. Temporary perks and weapons can be bought using in-game credits, making those high scores that little bit easier to achieve.
There are 16 stages to complete, and they’ll take considerable time to master if you’re into that kind of thing. Beyond this there are 16 stages designed to be tackled on the cycles. On bikes the gameplay is obviously a bit faster, and there’s a Ridge Racer-style timer, with seconds being added if you make it through gates. You can strike opponents if they get close enough, perform tricks while grabbing big air off ramps, and use perks to add cool stuff like a nice speed boost after drifting – which kind of works like a basic version of the system in Mario Kart. It’s a neat additional mode, but nowhere near as engaging or involved as the running.
Finally, you can try to survive for as long as possible in randomly generated running constructs, in a mode which is most similar to the mobile games that regularly dominate the app stores. Without knowing what’s coming the fairly complex controls (for a runner, at least) are put under most scrutiny, as are your own skills, and at least the former comes out of it well. This mode is definitely best left until you’ve put in some good time learning the ropes, unless you’re Johnny Number 5, a little alien frisbee from Batteries Not Included, or the alien ship from Flight of the Navigator. (If you want a reference that’s more in time with the modern TRON, because you don’t cling onto the 80s in a desperate attempt to feel young, try Jarvis from Iron Man.)
TRON RUN/r is a surprisingly fun, visually and aurally pleasing game, but one that is priced a little too richly. In an age when most runners are often given away free, the £15 price tag here is a bit much. There’s also a big chunk of DLC on top of that if you want more. TRON RUN/r is one of the most entertaining and spectacular runners around, but that has come at a price.
Version Tested: PC