Run Boggo Run!

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Run Boggo Run! App Poster Image
Fast-paced action may offset app's anti-stress theme.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

A tutorial offers basic how-to-play information, but the game moves fast, players may find it's difficult to advance without repeating rounds.

Violence & Scariness

Boggo falls over when he dies, but no blood's shown, and the screen quickly fades.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Run Boggo Run! is an endless runner-styled game for iOS and Android devices. The game features zany characters that move quickly, which can make rounds hard to complete. The game isn't overly violent, and although there's a cost to get the app, it's a one-time expense that’s fairly low -- less than a dollar. The characters' backstory involves one trying to relieve stress. Although stress reduction is an overarching theme -- individual levels have titles like "Totally Freaking Out" and "Full Blown Panic Attack" -- the speed that's maintained to make progress, while also dodging obstacles and performing goal-related tasks can be daunting, which can make players anxious at times when playing.

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What's it about?

Players try to avoid Anxiety Gremlins, rocks, and other foibles in RUN BOGGO RUN! Based on media provider BuzzFeed's The Land of Boggs animated series, the app features Boggo trying to make it through the Valley of Despair, with an ever-growing Stress Monster in pursuit -- who will shrink when hit with a bath bomb. Rounds involve goals, such as collecting self-care tokens or scoring points. If players fail to tap and jump or swipe fast enough to move left or right and hit something, they’ll die, but can repeat the round until they complete all goals.

Is it any good?

This high-energy single-player endless runner has an interesting twist -- the main character's ultimate goal is to avoid stress, but while it's fun, its pace could actually raise anxiety. In Run Boggo Run!, anxiety takes numerous forms, including the hulking Stress Monster, a blob-like creature that's always just a few paces behind you, getting larger as it runs. Players may feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks they need to execute at the same time -- such as swiping to swerve around a series of rocks and also trying to fire the giant bath bomb in the corner of the screen at the Stress Monster to shrink it. If they miss, the monster may catch up with Boggo, but if they don't focus on avoiding the boulders in their path, they may meet the same outcome -- a very sudden Valley of Despair death. As a result, rounds can be quite short, and players need to be OK with trying more than once to finish them. In addition to surviving, they'll need to check off a few goals in each round, which can range from collecting items to fending creatures off. The game doesn't penalize you for repeating a round multiple times, though, if the process ends up taking some time.

Because the game moves so fast, quick responses are key -- yet the controls don't always seem to be sensitive enough to allow the necessary reaction. The app unfortunately doesn't offer difficulty level choices, which could help players ease into the experience. Things start off fast and furious and generally stay that way, which ironically can make the gameplay start to feel like it's dragging, despite the speed you're moving at, because you have to keep replaying the same round. Run Boggo Run! may not be a game players spend weeks trying to master -- they'll likely level out or get tired of trying to advance by then. But if you’re OK with trying to figure out how to correct your previous errors and find the high-intensity pace exciting, Run Boggo Run! can provide some lighthearted fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how much screen time is too much. It's easy to get sucked into trying to beat each new Run Boggo Run! round, so how can you set limits to ensure you're spending time offline, too?

  • How can you address and deal with fear? Can you use the lessons or tactics from this game in real life?

  • Stress is mentioned several times in Run Boggo Run!, so what makes you feel stressed? Can certain behaviors help prevent stressful situations?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: $0.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Release date: January 13, 2021
  • Category: Action Games
  • Size: 750.00 MB
  • Publisher: BuzzFeed
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires Android 4.4 and up and iOS 11.0 or later.
  • Last updated: February 9, 2021

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