Speedrunning is an interesting approach to gaming. Instead of slowly savoring the experience, speedrunners strive for one thing: To finish a game as quickly as possible. To do this, dedicated speedrunners often spend months practicing. They’ll play through a game hundreds of times, honing their skills and searching for ways to shave seconds off their runs. You can find loads of speedrun videos on Youtube— there are even websites that track world records. However, until now speedrunning hasn’t had much of a presence on iOS.
Mos Speedrun is a game in which you control a bug-like critter and try to get through 20 levels. You have four goals for each level: to collect all the coins, to find a hidden skull, to reach the end of the level, and to speedrun the level within a very strict time limit. Achieving each goal earns you a trophy. But noobs, worry not– you don’t have to collect all of the trophies to move on.
Beware of Bowser.
Each level takes only a minute or two to pass, although they become more sprawling as you progress. Most of them have branching and hidden pathways, the better to hide coins and skulls. Placed liberally throughout are enemies, such as zombies, scorpions, and fish. You’ll also have to watch out for environmental obstacles, like spikes and lava. There’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, but classic platforming gameplay hasn’t gotten old yet, so it’s still a lot of fun. And trying to get all trophies for each level is no small feat.
The one aspect that really makes Mos Speedrun stand out from other platformers on iOS is the focus on speedruns. When you’re trying to get a speedrun trophy, you’ll have to replay the level over and over again, studying enemy behavior and looking for ways to keep your momentum going as you navigate the terrain. Every pixel you’re off and every enemy that slows you down brings you that much closer to failing. There’s nothing easy about speedrunning these levels, and that’s the best part.
As great as the game is, it’s not quite perfect. The default control set-up is kind of funky, and each time you restart a level, you see the ghosts of your previous attempts running alongside you. Luckily, in the options menu you can switch to d-pad controls and turn off the ghosts. The bigger problem is that we’d love to see more levels. On the other hand, the hyper-energized chiptune music is perfectly fitting.
Overall, Mos Speedrun totally succeeds at what it attempts, which is to offer fun, addictive platforming that’ll give even the most seasoned gamers a run for their money. It would be great if they included more levels, but even with just 20, it took us about 90 minutes to beat the game. Getting all the trophies will take significantly longer (and that’s assuming we have the skills and concentration to do it). Regardless, it’s great to see a such a well-made game put speedrunning in the spotlight. Fans of Super Meat Boy, League of Evil, or even Super Mario Bros. can pick this one up with confidence.