Game Design, Game Reviews

Game Review: Memory Run is the ultimate puzzle game

IconI love puzzle games. I love slick-looking mobile games. I love slick-looking, mobile puzzle games. That can only mean one thing: I love Memory Run.

Available on Google PlayMemory Run is a slick-looking mobile puzzle game (you don’t say?), built by Toughwin for the Android mobile operating system. You might remember them from 99 Slides, a game I also recently reviewed.

As it turns out, 99 Slides was (only) a part of Memory Run. The latter is a much wider game, comprised of five categories, each having six minigames. Categories featured in the game are Calculation, Memory, Logic, Visual and Concentration.

Each minigame has a unique gameplay, with Calculation forcing you to calculate numbers to finish the game, memory asking you to remember certain sequences, and so on. 99 Slides is featured in this game, as a part of the Visual category.

Going smooth

memory run screenshot

The puzzles will have you hooked fast

Similar to 99 Slides (which makes sense, considering the same people built both games), Memory Run uses simple and slick graphics, with straight lines, a soothing colour palette and a quality music background. The menu is simple and with nothing but four large buttons (Play, Achievements, Music On/Off, Exit), it throws you straight into the action.

Now I have to admit, I was a little confused at first, without any description whatsoever to introduce the game to me. But on the other hand, it was interesting to explore the game and learn by myself what it has to offer. It didn’t take long before I knew exactly what the game wanted from me and how to achieve that. Shortly after, I stumbled upon a real written tutorial on the game, which explained a couple of details, including its monetization system.

Quiz shows

In truth, the game reminds me of the old quiz shows we used to watch on TV when we were kids. With five categories and six minigames, the game can be completed in an hour or so, which means it lasts approximately the same as a TV quiz show. Every category is different, and every minigame is interesting in its own right.

The Replay Value

However, just because you completed the game in an hour, doesn’t mean you finished it. Every time you run it, the quizzes are different, meaning you can play it (almost) forever, and never play the same game twice. The best part of it is that categories are not locked – you can play any one you like, at any point in time. The minigames are also time-limited, and that limit is usually around a minute.

The game runs on “energy,” which is being spent as the game is being played. After you have spent a couple of hours with the game, you will run out of energy, and then you have to wait for some time to pass in order to regain it. In case you don’t want to wait, you can purchase additional energy.

Just like rewarded and video ads, this approach to monetisation feels great. You’re free to play, casually, but if you want to go a bit more hardcore, then you have to pay for it. I’ve also seen a couple of static ads, but they’re so rare it’s hardly worth mentioning.

A rare flower

memory run screenshot 2

Where’s the box, yo?

Unfortunately, the game is not completely bug-free. I have managed to break the game while playing the Concentration minigame – where the box which you have to shove across the map disappeared and there was no way for me to finish the level, or go back to the menu. I had to restart the whole game.

Aside from the (probably rarely seen) bug, I can conclude that Memory Run is an awesome indie mobile game that focuses on innovative gameplay, rather than graphics, where it can’t compete with the big guys anyway. It has simple, smooth, retro graphics and a cool soundtrack. It offers countless hours of entertainment, where every time you run the game it feels brand new.

Memory Run has smooth, retro graphics, a cool soundtrack and offers countless hours of entertainment. Click To Tweet

And as any proper mobile game, it is fast paced – you can play it in the bus or while waiting in line.

Good puzzle games are a rarity nowadays – most of them are repetitive, and once you’ve finished them, you have no reason to keep them on your device. With innovative gameplay, Memory Run jumps over that obstacle. The guys and girls over at Toughwin have once again done a great job and created a game that is bound to stick around on my smartphone for days to come.

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