Friday, May 12, 2023

Mobile Friday - Ultimate Sackboy - Sackboy's Return to The Runner Genre

For Mobile Friday this week is i tried out Ultimate Sackboy, a game from SAD PUPPY and Exient that's out across Android and iOS. i played this game on my iPhone Pro 14.

Ultimate Sackboy has LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy returning to the Runner Genre is this recently released game. Sakcboy previously was in Run Sackboy! Run!, a game that came out a decade or more ago on PS Vita, iOS, and Android. But let's be clear, Ultimate Sackboy is not a new version of that game.Run Sackboy! Run! was a horizontal runner that suffered from weird difficulty spikes and a lack of level variety. Ultimate Sackboy is a vertical runner that has other features that set's it apart from Run Sackboy! Run! but also from other famous Runner games.

The biggest and first difference you'll notice is that the game is timed based. typically runners let you run until you are stopped, or killed. during this video, your own mistakes can end the run but more often than not it was the level's time limit of 35 seconds that would finish it. i don't know if levels you unlock throughout the game have the same limit, nor do i know if there's an "Endless" style mode that let's you run until you fail. i do think that i had finished the tutorial, but at the end of the video you can see just how much content there is to unlock.

The music in the game doesn't quite live up to the standard set by the LittleBigPlanet titles, especially the first two on PS3, but it's fine. i do like the graphical style. i feel that it moves away from the older style of LittleBigPlanet where levels and things looked made from individual pieces. this newer style feels more cohesive with the world built from things like look like they're from the same place, instead of a hodgepodge of items and styles being put together to create something. in the video i remarked that it felt similar to a Yoshi Wolly World, and thinking about it now even Kirby's Epic Yarn would fit, as it has a very unique art style but also has a world built in that same style so together they seem to work fine. Ultimate Sackboy doesn't appear to have level creation mechanics, so the world itself not looking like it was built in one feels fine and helps it move away from LittleBigPlanet and become it's own thing.

I came away from playing this game with a lot of praise for the designers and only a few small nitpicks. let's start with those as they tend to focus on making the game a little more convenient rather than affecting the gameplay. Most games nowadays have a collect all function when obtaining rewards for completing missions. If you have a notification, it's nice and clear. when you can upgrade something, it's nice and clear too. But if you have both, then it's only the notification that's shown. there's space in the character select section to have a red dot, a green dot, no dots, or both. the game is smartly designed so that the tutorial goes nice and slow, but that it's also a part of the game. another cool thing they do is the level system. in Ultimate Sackboy, you collect items that can help you customise your Sackboy. as you get more items, your level increases. this means that your character level can only go up as you get better gear. this is welcomed as getting gear is relatedly easy.

One thing you'll need to watch out for, and this could determine if this is a game you play out and about over a mobile network, is that there are extra downloads. the base game where you just go and run seems to be all there. but when you do a daily challenge or get a level level, there does seem to be an additional download. at no point was i given the option to delay the download and play a different mode. nor was there any indication as to how much was downloaded.           

Ultimate Sackboy is one i do recommend people give a go. it's a free download and the game feels like it was designed with the player in mind rather than being design to earn the most money from players.