Updated: Mos Speedrun Review

Mos Speedrun received an update that adds another five levels to the game. Like the previous 20, these new stages are incredibly challenging, but impossible to stop playing. New elements include enemy bees that follow you once you get close to them, as well as tried-and-true platformer tropes like spring boards and rising lava that you have to outrace.

The new levels are just as fun as the old ones, only a wee bit harder. But anyone who’s earned enough of the trophies to unlock the new content will be up to the challenge. We love to see the developers adding new levels to this phenomenal game, and we hope this update isn’t the last.

Mos Speedrun, one of our very favorite retro platformers– seriously, it’s incredible– received an update that makes speedrunning its levels even more awesome. Now you can go to any level you’ve already played and export a recording of your best run to your Photos app. From there, you can upload it to YouTube to make newbies jealous, or show it on first dates to impress potential romantic partners with your mad skills.

But seriously, this is a very useful tool for serious speedrunners, particularly if diehard gamers start uploading their most impressive runs to YouTube. To record your winning speedruns, just go to a level you have a “fastest time” in, hit the pause button, and press the “R” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This will make a choppy video of your best run play on the screen. Wait for it to finish, and you can find a smooth version of the video in your Photos app.

If you’re into this sort of thing, this update is pretty awesome. But even if you’re not quite so hardcore into the speedrunning scene, Mos Speedrun is a game that’s not to be missed.

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.

Segway 2.0

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.

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