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Endless Running Games, the Mobile Answer to the Movie and Television Licenses

Okay, I have to admit, when I first saw Temple Run on a friend’s iPhone I honestly was intrigued.  Till then I was not impressed with the endless running game genre.  Sure, 2D runners were nice around this time but they simply didn’t “do it” for me as a gamer.  I am old school, I prefer to control my character and play the levels at my pace rather than being forced along.  The scrolling levels in some of the classic Super Mario games are the worst levels in my opinion.  Something I remember from the old days of gaming was that eight times out of ten a movie license was going to be an action game of some sort.  From Total Recall to Batman/Returns there was an action game tie-in available on the more popular consoles and hand-held devices of the time.  Today, with Android and iOS leading the mobile world it seems that movie tie-ins have a new genre to call home- endless running games.

Right now the number of endless running games is low in comparison to the classic platforms and their action game tie-ins.  That is changing though.  It seems that the returns on a running game versus the development costs are just right for movie licensed properties to be spearheaded this direction.  After all, most of the budget for the game was probably blown just acquiring the movie license in the first place.  There are a few endless running games out now that support popular licenses and I am sure more are on the way.

First up is Batman v Superman- Who Will Win.  Okay, did the developer, and or publisher, of this one even see the movie?  Not sure how this is supposed to tie-in to it but here it is, a 3D endless running game.  You control either Batman or Superman and must collect icons on the streets of Gotham/Metropolis (you are not really told where you are and the streets could be literally any city).  Check out my review here on Gravis Ludus.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

Fear the Walking Dead is another new endless running game to feature a popular license.  This time from a comic turned TV show on AMC.  The allure of Fear the Walking Dead is that it is a minimalist style running game.  Things are shrouded in shadows and this just adds to the mystery and scares that await those that enter the game world.  News post here on Gravis Ludus.  Available on the iTunes App Store.

The Smurfs Epic Run brings the German cartoon classic to modern mobile gamers in the form of an evolved 2D endless runner.  By now developers figured out they need to do more than just endlessly spurn levels at you.  Smurfs Epic Run shows a lot of promise for the genre as it is not your run of the mill running game.  My review is here on Gravis Ludus.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

A while back there was a movie called “Maze Runner” where the idea is to well, run through mazes.  This movie received a 3D endless running game that featured actual levels that were randomly generated.  At least this one fits the license to a genre that is similar.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

TMNT Rooftop Run is a 2.5D action based endless running game featuring the heroes in a half shell.  The running is broken up with occasional fights with enemies.  These fights are tap based affairs similar to “Quick Time Events” in many console games.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

Run Run Super V takes a popular Japanese animated cartoon and makes it a 2D endless running game.  There are boss fights and several types of levels to deal with.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

Spider-Man Unlimited is a 3D endless running game similar to Temple Run 1 and 2.  There are some fight segments that break up the usual mix of running and avoiding obstacles.  There is even an interesting story for Spider-Man fans.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

Survival Run with Bear Grylls is based on a popular television show about survival in the wilderness.  I cannot remember Bear Grylls having to run like hell from a creature but well, here is a game with him doing just that.  Available now on and the iTunes App Store.

The Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Run is based on the movie The Jungle Book.  This one is frustrating as hell based on my limited exposure so far.  Things are blandly colored and way too similar in look (jumping/sliding are made tougher because of this).  I will be reviewing this one soon.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

Hunger Games: Panem Run is based on the Catching Fire movie.  I have not seen the movies but I know there is this game based on them available now on and the iTunes App Store.

Finally, we have another cartoon endless running game based on Looney Tunes.  Looney Tunes Dash does its best to capture the look and feel of the cartoon license and for the most part, it is fun and challenging without being frustrating.  Available on and the iTunes App Store.

Got a licensed endless running game that I didn’t cover here?  Let me know in the comments or via the contact link at the top of the page.


Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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