Runny Egg Platform: 3DS (Nintendo eShop) Developer/Publisher: Tom Create Price: $1.99 Scrambled, over easy, poached, however, you like your eggs, this game’s for you! Nothing like an egg on a mission to get the yolk running! There was a time when you couldn’t look at three games without one of them being a plucky platformer featuring some cute sort of hero. In the time between then and now, the popularity of the genre has more than waned, but the eShop has always been a good supply of effective budget platformers that keep the spirit of the genre alive. Some of these are just delights to work through, with others being a monotonous chore and a half, but gratefully Runny Egg falls into the category of the former and happens to be a pleasant surprise. In Runny Egg, you’re really just getting set off to the races with there being no preamble or set-up to speak of, not that one is really necessary here. You’re an egg that’s on the run trying to collect all of your chicks, while trying to avoid obstacles and breaking that delicate shell of yours and scrambling up your brains in the process. That’s about it, but with platformers like this, that can sometimes be a luxury. And while Runny Egg is hardly a revelation or the game of the year so far, it’s a very satisfying title for $1.99 that offers up a polished platformer that at its most fluid moments even feels reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog at times (once you’ve built up your speed accordingly). Runny Egg offers up a pretty standard control scheme that works well enough. You’re provided with simple platforming where Y is run, and B is jump (although it feels somewhat awkward with A being the more natural choice). The game doesn’t need to complicate things and what it provides is more than enough to make this work. A healthy diet of chicks will help you get past that pesky snake who blocks your goal! The game’s goal is clear enough with you trying to get from one side of the level (of which there are a copious amount of) to the next, but there are a number of enjoyable additions to the gameplay that make this a more than bland experience. For instance, you’ll collect egg points (naturally) in each level based on your performance, which you can then use to increase your HP, speed, and shell strength to aid you in your journeys. It’s a pretty fun system, and with there to be much room to grow and tiers being easy to clear, it works. Additionally, once you collect 100 chicks, you’ll hatch so to speak into a Golden Chicken that’s invincible for a limited time and has increased abilities. I was honestly surprised at how much there was in this game, between the varying difficulty levels, tons of extra content and unlockables, and the ability to soup up your egg to an impressive degree if you see fit. A lot is packed into this tiny package. When it comes to the aesthetics of the title, there’s nothing special happening here, with the graphics being basic and utilitarian while still conveying the game’s cute tone and feel. The audio is pretty inconsequential, with the music actually being pretty irritating (minus the pause screen’s weirdly enough) and not much audio production going on otherwise. Similarly, minimal touches are added with the 3D function, but to see anything done at all in such a budget title is encouraging. Eep! Avoid the fire, or you're bound to end up fried, sunny side up, and over hard all at once! Runny Egg is by no means that challenging, but the difficulty steadily increases in a pleasant way, too. You’ll pick up the controls pretty quickly, but it impressively still offers up varying difficulties to help cater to your desired experience. There’s also a quasi-boss at the end of each stage in the form of some kind of animal foe (be it a snake, dragon, armadillo, pirate parrot, or whatever) that gets in the way of reaching your goal. These are probably the weakest, most undercooked element of the game. Not that I was expecting to get full boss battles from this game (let alone in every level), but what’s present here just kind of feels like a missed opportunity. Inside the title is also a comprehensive set of mission and achievements (which cutely come in the form of egg-based recipes) for each level, adding more tasks and content to your experience. These usually amount to clearing the level under a certain time requirement, or collecting a particular number of chicks. The achievements have you doing a little more unusual of tasks though, and feel a lot like the sort of achievements/trophies you see on the Xbox and PlayStation platforms. If all of that wasn’t enough for you, there’s also a jumbo egg hidden in each level as well. Runny Egg feels like one of those calming platformers that you can just pick up to kill a bit of time where it’s never so frustrating that it becomes an annoying experience, but rather a nice way to unwind that doesn’t require you to totally shut your brain off either. I found myself playing more and more of it, without even realizing. Pros: +Simplified platforming at its best +Many unlockables and extra content to enjoy +Robust “Evolution” system for your egg +Good value for price tag Cons: -Irritating music -Lackluster “bosses” Runny Egg warrants a score of “Buy It” due to its incredibly expansive package that it is offering up to you. Not only is it a reasonable platformer in its own life, it offers up many levels, difficulties, and hidden content to explore, all for a very low price. While disappointing aesthetics and unrefined mechanics in some areas hold it back from being a classic, it’s still a deeply enjoyable game. Disclosure: A review copy was used to evaluate this game.