Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe 3DS eShop Review
Short burst levels
Simple controls that just throws the player right into the action
Gameplay, music and obstacles repeat over and over
Nothing more to do other than to automatically run to the right
What is it with gnomes and under garments?
Originally released as 2-Fast-4-Gnomz, Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe is basically a port of a port. First released on WiiWare, then on the 3DS eShop and even mobile devices, Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe is essentially the same game as 2-Fast-4-Gnomz just resold under an even goofier name. Just like these original versions, this auto runner is a one trick pony that relies on memorization and twitch reaction times.
Released just a couple weeks after Super Mario Run, it is sort of difficult to not compare the two. Geki Yaba Runner is nothing more than right to the run while dodging obstacles (there are no enemies to defeat, just things to avoid), finishing the stage, and moving on to the next. Super Mario Run, for example, is more interactive with daily challenges, a way to build up your town, leaderboards, competition between friends, and even fight enemies – there is more to do than just automatically moving in one direction. Playing as a gnome with the goal of collecting socks is totally fine but ultimately suffers tremendously when there is no staying power.
Like the original versions, the player will become aware of new abilities as stages are completed. Holding up on the circle pad, for example, causes the gnome to glide whereas holding down causes a faster fall and the ability to break through some objects. But since the goal is to simply make it to the end of the stage, frustration can set it due to difficulty and cheap twitch tactics of later stages. The side quest is to collect all the socks within each stage but there is no worthwhile reward to complete this chore-like busy work.
It is also worth pointing out that the game just starts once the icon is selected on the 3DS dashboard. There is no title screen. No options to click through. The player doesn’t even encounter any sense of story until about ten minutes in either, not that this game necessarily needs it anyway. Also, there are some awkward technical hiccups that ultimately make the game painfully stutter. Due to the speed of the gnome’s run, the upper 3D screen is in a constant state of motion blur. In short, everything just looks smudged and is only enhanced when using the 3D effect. It isn’t until the gnome goes through his death animation when everything comes into focus and the player can see how colorful the world really is. Even stranger, text in text bubbles is also blurred… but usually only the middle line. It is so weird. A text bubble on screen will appear that will be a few lines tall but only the middle line is pixelated. Not sure why this happens but the lack of polish is unsettling. The only saving grace from a technical stand point is the instant restart if a retry is needed.
Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe only costs a few bucks but doesn’t contain that hook that other runners on the market have. With repeating assets, obstacles, music and gameplay elements, there are only so many socks you can collect before you lose your mind.
Not As Good As: Jetpack Joyride
The Same As: 2-Fast-4-Gnomz
Also Try: Wind-Up Knight (New 3DS eShop)
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com