The iOS market seems to be overflowing with cute little platforming games that are all basically the same game with different designs. It’s not really a problem, though, since these fast-paced platformers are perfect for when you need to waste a few minutes. Manuganu, by Alper Sarikaya, falls into that same category but adds some stylish flair to a crowded genre. If most platformers are tap-dancing lady bugs, Managunu is a tap-dancing lady bug wearing a top hat and sparkly dance shoes.

At base Manuganu is a very typical side-scrolling game. You start off with three different worlds with 10 levels each, and you unlock the next world by earning a certain number of stars. You play as a boy named Manuganu running through each level, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles. Once you reach the finish line you earn up to three stars depending on your performance. Pretty standard stuff, so what sets Managunu apart from its contemporaries?

Well, Managunu grants you the ability to jump and to halt your running to avoid obstacles. It may not sound revolutionary, but the ability to stop is great for when you want to catch your breath if things are getting out of control. Sure, he may not run that fast, but it’s a really nice feature that you don’t usually see in these kinds of games. In addition to running and not running, Managunu can slide to slip past spikes and tight spaces. The controls are mostly tight and responsive with just a few minor hiccups few and far between.

Another aspect that sets this game apart from others is that your path through each area isn’t predetermined. Throughout each stage there are bifurcations and you can choose which path to take. It’s not like you’re entering a whole new world by choosing one over the other, but it provides decent variety to the obstacles and increases the replayability of each level. One path may lead Manuganu through swinging hammers while the other makes you slide down a rope. There's an abundance of unique obstacles like flames, animals, spikes, and fog so you never know what you might run into.

While those things set the game apart, it’s still very basic. There’s only one character, so you’d better enjoy playing as a little boy. There are no customizations to anything, no upgrades, no items to collect, no outfit bonuses to unlock… but Managunu doesn’t hound you for money. Pay a dollar up front and that’s it. Hopefully there’ll be some updates in the future that’ll add some customization, additional levels, and maybe a tap-dancing ladybug or two.

Manuganu is more fun to say than it is to play, but it’s fun enough and good for when you need to waste some time. While it adds some great extra controls, the game lacks in the customization found in most iOS titles. The graphics are simple and smooth, and each world has a different theme to it, giving some nice visual variety.


App Store Link: Manuganu for iPhone & iPad | By Alper Sarikaya | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0.5 | 66.4 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating