App review: Robot Unicorn Attack 2
You control a unicorn which runs automatically and speeds up as you progress through the game
- Improved gameplay and graphics from original
- Detailed environment
- Unicorn customisation
- A second world
- “Always” by Erasure isn’t the default song and must be bought
- Slow fall speed
- Team system unbalanced
RUA2 is ridiculously addictive. The drastic improvements in the gameplay and graphics, alongside the addition of levels, upgrades and power-ups, has transformed it from a casual time-killer, to a competitive game which will have you scrambling to beat friends’ high scores.
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Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is an endless runner which will take you to a hypnotic planet of colour and rainbows as you jump from platform to platform, collecting fairies and dashing stars for points, while gathering tears (or water drops; we can’t decide) to use as in-game currency. It's worth noting that it's not a new game per se, although was only recently made available for Android.
For those familiar with the original, RUA2 will feel like a direct, major upgrade from its predecessor. It's built with the same objective, but introduces smoother gameplay, enhanced graphics, and an array of social and customisation features.
For new players, the goal of the game is, essentially, to play forever. Trust us, it sucks you in, and may cause you to miss your train or bus stop. You control a unicorn which runs automatically, and speeds up as you progress. The only controls are Jump and Dash, triggered by tapping the left or right side of the screen, respectively. Each ‘wish’ ends when you die; you have three wishes in each game.
Unlike its predecessor, the sequel has a levelling system. To level up you must collect stars by completing personal, daily, and community objectives. Most missions are fairly simple, although new players may need practice before managing the more difficult ones (such as a high score mission). As you level up, you unlock either a unicorn upgrade or a power-up.
There are two worlds in the game: the default ‘Rainbows and Harmony’, and ‘Ice and Wonder’ which is unlocked at level 15 (but can be purchased earlier using in-game currency). Both are visually impressive, featuring a plethora of detail and bright colours. The active background adds to the experience as well; it is designed with depth to provide somewhat of a three-dimensional appeal. The environment moves as you progress, and mythical creatures are flying about as well. Although you will spend most of the time staring at the foreground, the design of the backdrop remains in periphery, and adds to the overall experience. The worlds don’t stay the same either; each day the platforms are in different locations, meaning you cannot simply memorise one path.
To survive, and ultimately achieve the highest score possible, you must jump from platform to platform. Fairies can be collected for 50 points, and stars dashed for 100. Adult Swim has added hoops to the game which provide a multiplier that stacks, and remains active until the unicorn lands. How is it possible to stack the multiplier? Well now — wait for it — you can fly (once you upgrade your unicorn).
Gameplay is a lot smoother than in the original game. The flying feature also works well, and does not make the game necessarily easier. Although it eliminates the chance of falling through a gap and dying, it dramatically increases the probability of flying into the bottom or side of a platform. One slightly frustrating element is the slow fall speed, meaning there are often moments in which you are unable to mitigate an obstacle regardless of what you do; these situations tend to occur more and more as the speed of the unicorn increases (when you are at about 100,000 points in one run).
The best feature of RUA2 is the ability to customise your unicorn. Five things can be upgraded: body, mane, wings, horn, and trail. Each upgrade has a different animation and can be purchased with in-game currency (collected as you play, but also purchasable).
Adult Swim has also introduced two rival teams to RUA2: Inferno and Rainbow. Unfortunately, the system does not seem to be well-balanced; on Android, it appears as though the Inferno team has a lot more members, meaning Rainbow does not stand a chance in daily challenges. In addition, it is possible to switch teams for a small in-game fee, therefore swaying a lot of players to the winning side in order to attain daily bonuses.
The major pitfall of RUA2 is that the song which accompanied the original — “Always” by Erasure — is not available by default. Fortunately, it can be purchased alongside a selection of other songs.
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Reviewed on: Samsung Galaxy S4
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