Never Gonna Stop | Top Run Review

It’s finally here. Top Run by Katata Games is available pretty much everywhere: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Steam, and mobile. But ever since I got my copy, I’ve had Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” stuck in my head. I can’t figure out why though.

Maybe it’s because Kevin, the protagonist of Top Run, says something similar to “I’m never gonna give you up” when you free Joy from her cell.  Or maybe it’s because I got on Fortnite and they have the Never Gonna emote where your avatar dances while the song plays. Or it could be because Valentine’s Day was a few days ago and pretty much everyone was singing it. 

But, maybe it’s because Top Run is as much of a “brain worm” as “Never Gonna Give You Up.” I just can’t stop playing the game! 

In the game, you play as Kevin as he runs endlessly to save his hometown from bad guys. 

Use my Amazon Affiliate link to buy the song for yourself. That way you can help support my blog and listen to it forever and ever and ever and…I’m not really helping my case here, am I?

I think that might be part of why I enjoy the game so much. There’s no big mystery; no having to search through the website’s code (that I know of); no messing with image brightness to see the hidden message. You just run. I don’t feel like I need some kind of masters in cryptography to understand it. In a time of shared universes and theory-hunting AR games–where everything has to have a cliffhanger, it’s nice to see one that doesn’t have all that…weight. The game does have a backstory; it tells you how Kevin got his powers and that’s all you need.

Also, the controls are simple and easy to master. It did take me a couple minutes to change over from the app controls to controller buttons; but once I figured out the button layout was basically the same as it was on the app, I was back in my groove.

I also appreciate that once I pay the purchase price, I don’t need to pay out more. The skins and upgrades are purchasable by collecting pixels. The upgrade/skin prices are also fair. I don’t feel like it takes forever to collect enough pixels to buy a skin, but the price isn’t so low that I can purchase all of them after only a few runs. They are a difficult goal to reach but not impossible.

Speaking of reachable goals, the objectives are similarly difficult yet obtainable. None of the game objectives seem that difficult–some are harder or take longer to complete than others but all seem doable. 

img_2674But enough gushing for a moment. I have noticed that some glitches have carried over from the mobile game. Sometimes the cell holding a friend will fall through the floor. Other times the cell will just be laying on its side. Coming from my own time coding programs and games, I’m sure this glitch comes from the cell’s random generation. The cell generates in an open space and falls. Even with a billion numbers to choose from, sometimes you get a one.

Another glitch is a little more comical. Sometimes the dash wears off and I end up running right into a foe, usually a Bikey Mikes; but instead of dying, we collide. Kevin and Mike run into each other and just stop. Kevin continues to run and Mike continues to ride but they aren’t going anywhere. It looks like two people going, “Get out of my way!” “No, you get out of my way!” “Why don’t you move?” “Why don’t you move?!” A couple seconds later, the game catches up and it’s Game Over.

The last error I can find is that the invincibility after a power-up wears off or when you rescue a friend can sometimes feel a little random. Sometimes, it seems to be only a second; but one time, I was able to survive a blast from a Hack like five seconds after freeing Ben.

However, for like 99.9 percent of the time, the game runs smoothly–unlike some other games that have a tendency to crash now and then.

So…I’m still not sure why I keep wanting to play Top Run over and over. It could be the simplicity. Or it could be the added perk of annoying everyone around me by playing the Beckett soundtrack endlessly.

But, I think it might because Mr. Schnitzel (the cat) has added subliminal messages within the game–why else would there be so many neon lights. It’s all part of his evil plot. Today, he gets us to buy Top Run; tomorrow…endless catnip.

Nah, I think it is because you can feel the hard work and passion of Katata Games and Fantastico Studios. 4.9/5

PS: If any TV/movie producers out there are reading this, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Top Run series (or at least a comic). Now, I’ve got catnip to buy.

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Top Run | Review

“Top Run: Retro Pixel Adventure” by Katata Games (Mark Tityuk on iTunes) is an endless runner game. You play as Kevin–and sometimes his dog sidekick Buddy–in order to collect pixels, blast bad guys, and rescue friends.

Kevin is a 1980s teen who’s gained superpowers thanks to mutation. Buddy joins Kevin on the adventure, now and then traveling to his own dimension (“Buddy Time”) allowing the player to collect bonus pixels. Kevin’s three friends, whom Kevin must rescue, have their own superpowers.

Kevin’s main weapon is floppy discs which he fires at foes. He can also collect power-ups: an enemy freezer, a hover board that draws all the pixels towards himself, a triple floppy power-up, and a Buddy shield that’ll make Kevin invincible.

The game is filled with 80s easter eggs, such as the Night Driver (Knight Rider)–a black vehicle that helps Kevin by plowing through his foes. The game is also filled with 80s music thanks to the artist Beckett.

The free version allows the player ten tokens (aka runs/plays), but the tokens recharge quickly. It takes about ten minutes for one token to recharge. You can also buy tokens through pixels or through real world money for $0.99.

In the free version, you’ll have ads that play after random deaths. You can get rid of them by paying the $0.99.

The game also comes with skins for Kevin and Buddy. You can purchase all for $3.99 or save up your pixels and get a random one for 7,500. Or you can buy everything, plus gain access to the Cybervaders arcade game for $5.99.

The game itself is very addicting thanks to the easy to learn gameplay and ability to buy tokens without spending money. The soundtrack also makes it hard to put the game down. The game objectives aren’t easy but not so difficult that you feel like they are impossible.

My main frustration with the game was that the hit box seemed odd at times. There were many times when it seemed like I was passed a foe or had avoided it only to see the game over screen.

Overall, the game is a nice trip back to the old arcade days. The graphics, music, and audio lines keep you immersed in the game. It comes with a nice balance of challenging but not frustrating. 4.7/5

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