On the surface Record Run appears to be some strange music-centric iPhone app with decent graphics, but the game is far more entertaining than the outside button and main menu lets on. Once you click play, Record Run brings you through a cute little adventure that heavily relies on the music placed in the game, and some that are chosen by you.
Record Run begins with our blue mohawk-wearing hero walking out of his favorite record store with his purchases for the day. His world is instantly shattered when a truck comes by, knocking the records out of his hands and taking it for their own. There’s a trail of records that follows the truck and it’s up to our nameless hero to retrieve them all. After all, he would never want to see them damaged in any way. The beginning tutorial walks you through the game mechanics you need to know in order to even make it through the first round. You learn how to jump, dive or leap around one obstacle after the other, and once you master that you’re able to move onto the first set of levels. They’re not actually labeled as levels, but just rounds that you go through as you complete each song.
One of the unique aspects about Record Run isn’t the mechanics, but how the music is incorporated into the system. There’s a selection of set songs locked into the game, and as you go through each one you figure out the pacing for those songs. The quicker you figure out the beats for a particular song that you’re using, the easier it’ll be for you to get past the obstacles and clear the round. Of course there’s a degree of difficulty with each song, and our mohawk hero has to speed up the faster the tempo could be. Record Run does suggest that you wear headphones while interacting with the app, but it’s not necessary so long as you turn up the volume to a fairly high degree. Whatever you do, just do not play the game on silent. It’s very easy to mess up and abruptly end your round when you can’t listen to the music, because you can’t get into the beat and maneuver your character around properly. This was a lesson found out the hard way when we decided to try the tutorial without any sound on.
Another perk of Record Run is the fact that you’re able to import songs from your iTunes playlist into the game. This little tool comes in handy, making the game infinitely more enjoyable for those who may not be the biggest fan of the tracks that you’re able to choose from. Depending on which songs you place in your selection, they may not entirely blend into the way this game works. If the beats are too awkward and inconsistent, the game will set itself into a general beat pacing for the round.
Record Run isn’t without it’s flaws, and there are a few of them. The biggest one that seems to irk me at times is the highly sensitive swiping you can do on your iPhone/iPad. If you accidentally tilt your finger a little more down instead of straight across, you can find your hero sliding underneath an obstacle when he was supposed to only switch positions from one part of the sidewalk to the other. It can lead to the character hitting obstacles, being knocked out and waiting a few seconds until he pops back onto the screen. If you have him on the wrong part of the sidewalk when he comes back, expect for your turn to end rather abruptly. It’s really frustrating but it’s important to be precise with your finger swiping, or else your turn will be over in an instant.
It’s rather difficult to keep track of whatever number of levels you’ve been through in Record Run, only because there is no definite number of levels. It’s an almost seemingly never-ending loop of songs, similar to what we’ve seen in Rock Band. There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, but once you skim through a couple rounds it’s easy to begin to lose interest in the game. There are small goals that you have to meet with each round, whether it be to retrieve a certain number of records or dodging obstacles, but there’s not much else to it. At the same time the graphics are not anything to brag about, but the simplistic style makes Record Run a bit more charming in its aesthetic appeal than the multitude of sleek games out there in the Apps Store.
Record Run provides the necessary upbeat entertainment to keep you mildly amused on your phone for a small amount of time. Unfortunately there isn’t enough replay value to keep this app on your iPhone or iPad for an elongated amount of time.