What do you get when you cross robots, unicorns, rainbows and death by rock giants who shoot lasers out of their eyes? Yes, it’s Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (RUC2), and as sequels go it’s a welcome improvement over the original and still just as addictive.
There’s no need for a story here, simply select your robotic unicorn hero then jump and dash as far as you can go, rinse and repeat. But its appeal isn’t necessarily the game itself, but it’s unusual and colourful setting. RUC2 places its focus firmly on taking the best parts of the late 70’s and early 80’s science fiction, namely the likes of Heavy Metal or Flash Gordon.
You’ll have three runs (known as wishes) per game, with your score an overall combination of the three. The two areas on offer, filled with Rainbows or Ice, provide branching pathways and slightly different hazards, but with flying enabled you might find it easier to dodge between them all as the pace quickens. Depending on when you play, the chosen level you run will change, adding some much needed variety instead of the same thing over and over. In a nice touch, you can choose to replay a run to increase your score, at a cost of course but it’s always helpful. You can also purchase a fourth wish if you’re so inclined, though I rarely did.
As a sequel, there’s plenty of new incentives too. You’ll be able to upgrade your chosen Unicorn from a host of different body, wing and horn types. Each one provides a different result to your run, whether it’s a better or longer jump or a faster running speed, which can make a difference in terms of your overall result. I would have loved some extra options here though, such as the ability to choose your Unicorn’s colours or size to make it more about your own personal creation.
Before your three wishes, you can put some of your collected currency towards boosts, special abilities that can allow you to dash automatically through obstacles or suck up collectibles just by being nearby. The cost of these boosts aren’t too high, but the more you use them the quickly you may lose track of how much you have left over, leaving you with little to upgrade your Unicorn (which is arguably more important if you’re after a higher result).
The biggest addition of all, however, is the ability to fly. Yes, wings are now an important part of the RUC2 experience and once you unlock that ability and reach the required score to use it, you suddenly have a better chance of not only dodging difficult areas but reaching others where you couldn’t before.
Community driven incentives provide that final layer of polish, giving you a reason to keep playing past the first handful of wishes. It’s not a huge thing, like the ability to upload levels of your own design (RUC3 perhaps?) or a direct connection to the players, but a few bonus prizes for your efforts isn’t something to sniff at.
By now you all know how I feel about runners (the fact that most of them seem the same, where’s the originality, etc.) but honestly I threw that thought out as soon as I booted Robot Unicorn Attack 2 up for the first time. It’s a clever combination of what would normally be deemed ‘simplistic’ gameplay with a colourful, 80’s era inspired world that makes it worth playing, especially for an elder like me.
Plus, you can purchase the NeverEnding Story theme song! Winning!
[review pros=”Simple but enjoyable, easy on the eye, NeverEnding stooorrrrrrrrrrryyyyy!” cons=”Really built for short bursts only, doesn’t provide anything ‘new’ gameplay wise” score=88]