iPhone Life magazine

Review: Unicorn Rush by Mind Juice Media

I apologize from the onset, but I’m going to be sexist and say that when I heard the title Unicorn Rush my first thought was that this was going to be a “girlie” game.  If it is, then I guess I’m letting my feminine side out, because I’m hooked.  In ways the game is not much more than your basic infinite runner, but it’s amazing how much little things like achievements and the ability to shoot can add to what should really be a somewhat boring genre of game play.  Prepare to remember why you enjoyed the genre so much in the first place.

Collect The Unicorns
 

You control a unicorn, and if there’s some sort of reason for your running I’m not really sure that it matters.  What is important is that there are twelve finite levels to conquer as well as the endless level to try and get a high score on.  There are also many “quests” (aka achievements) to beat, each of which boosts your score multiplier by one.  Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the quests are tied to either GameCenter or OpenFeint so you can only see the currently active 3, but at least you have some idea of what you’ve completed based on how high your score multiplier is.  In the finite levels there are 5 stars that you can collect, though they are not necessary for finishing the level.  They are needed in order to complete some of the quests.

As you gallop along your way you can collect “unicoins”, which is a non-generic term for gold coins.  Besides helping you earn some achievements, these coins can be used to buy power ups like a unicoin magnet or speed boost, and they can also unlock new unicorns and additional background songs.  Of course you can speed up the process with IAP if you like, but everything is attainable with time and patience except for the unicoin doubler, which ironically must be bought with real money.  In addition to coins you can get pink mushrooms which zoom out the screen temporarily to give you a wider field of vision, and green mushrooms which give you the ability to triple jump for a short time.

The Stars Are Bright
 

Just like most infinite runners, the running is actually handled by the game itself.  You tap the left side of the screen to jump one, two or three times (when applicable).  Holding the screen will allow the unicorn to jump somewhat farther.  Tapping the right side of the screen causes the unicorn to shoot, which is good for clearing rocks and crystals.  The controls are simple and quite responsive.

The unicorn looks really good and is very nicely animated.  The background is sharp and detailed, but unlike many infinite runners there is no shift in themes at any time, so it does get repetitive rather quickly.  I think if actions were a bit closer together the sound effects might get kind of annoying, but currently they are nicely paced as to provide decent background chatter without being anything special.  The music is good, and it’s worth spending the unicorns as soon as possible to unlock all the tracks.

Crystal Power
 

I hesitate to say that there is anything in Unicorn Rush that I haven’t seen in another infinite running game in some fashion or another.  There’s just something about the way Unicorn Rush presents it all that is extremely addicting.  If you’re a fan of the genre or just curious to see what an infinite running game is all about, Unicorn Rush is definitely a good choice for you.

Overall Score: 9/10
App Store Link

This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch 4 running iOS 5.1.1.

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Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to iphonelife.com and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.