Price: $4.99 (£2.99)
Description: 2D Retro Platformer Against the Clock
Pros: Great level design variation, very challenging, ghosts.
Cons: Needs quick restart, not for impatient gamers.
Advised Control Method: All (keyboard control)
Whereas most games’ stories or campaigns are unlikely to be played a second or third time, repeating levels you have traversed 100 times is a staple part of Mos Speedrun. Throw out the complex plot and emotionally driven protagonists, Mos Speedrun focusses on one level, one ridiculous looking bug, and a counting down clock.
Mos Speedrun includes 25 2D platformer levels of escalating difficulty which you must get across to complete an objective. That objective could either be just reaching the finish line; collecting all of the golden coins in the level; finding the hidden skull in the level or beating the counting down timer to the end (or all four if you’re really that determined).
The levels start off easy, but even then you will begin to get a sense of what Mos Speedrun is all about. It’s not about simply finishing the stage and touching the red post box at the end. It’s about the time you did it in. Yeah sure, place these levels in a more generic 2D platformer and you’re flying. Accomplishing the first 3 objectives are generally easy, but completing the level under the ambitious times the developers have set is something else. You need to make every move count, every jump has to be perfect and every enemy skilfully dodged. If not, then you’re swimming with the fishes (quite literally in some cases).
As you progress through the game the levels become way, way harder. To the point where it becomes a task just trying to get to the finish line, never mind actually beating the time set for it. But the satisfaction of completing the level after so many tries is always worth it; it just depends on whether you’re committed enough to reach it.
The levels are actually really well designed. Although simple, there are many enemies to avoid, treacherous gaps to clear and a whole load of deadly lava. Each level feels very different from the other meaning you will have to learn each one anew once you move on.
By far the best element of Mos Speedrun, and a feature that will keep most gamers playing, is the ghosts. No, these aren’t the type of ghosts that float off the ground and haunt abandoned houses. These ghosts represent your tries on a particular level and take the form of greyed out versions of yourself. The more you repeat a level, the more ghosts you’ll have jumping off the start line with you. Whereas some gamers will probably find 50 or so ghosts on the screen a bit too distracting, I love the rush of all these little clones hot on your heels as you try and beat your personal best. It also gives you an idea of how well you are doing in a level.
Mos Speedrun originated on the iPhone and iPod Touch, but you can imagine the difference there is between an iPhone screen and a laptop keyboard. The controls are super responsive which is really important in a game like this.
The one thing I would mention is that there should be a quick restart shortcut because, even though you instantly restart when you die, if you reckon you have no hope on a try it would be better just to irritably press one button than having to go menu>restart.
Mos Speedrun is for a specific type of person. Someone who enjoys the thrill and challenge of trying to beat previous ghosts and achieve a target time, no matter how much painstaking work it is. If you really want to get the most out of Mos Speedrun, then this is the way to do it; good old teeth-grinding determination. If you don’t have that, well, then you’re not going to enjoy Mos Speedrun as much as the next person. Otherwise, it’s a great game.