Running with Friends

 

Learning(i)

Popular game genre gets fun twist with social features.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The game is very timing-based, which can take a while to master, though veteran players of this genre will be comfortable with the controls. As the game progresses, things speed up, which makes it even harder to succeed.

Violence

Players must dodge charging bulls, speeding (and stopped) cars, and other obstacles as well as environmental hazards such as barrels and low-hanging signs. When players inevitably lose, though, there's no sign of suffering or blood. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Players can purchase gems, which let them purchase new avatars for their profiles or upgrades in the game. (These gems -- and stars -- also are earned in the game and are not essential to gameplay.) The free app also runs banner ads at the bottom of the screen as players wait for their opponents to finish their turns. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some concerns. The game can match players with random opponents, who are usually strangers. Either party can send a message to the other, and there's no way to block this function or filter the language. The game asks you to log in via Facebook or post to Twitter to find an opponent from your friends or followers list. You also can choose a friend from your contact list.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Running With Friends is a social take on the popular endless-runner genre of games. Players will dodge bulls, obstacles, and other characters as they attempt to run as far as possible before slipping up and being caught by the bull. Zynga requires players to be age 13 and up. Teens can log in via Facebook and play with friends, or they can play against a random matchup. Players can send messages to each other. There's no filter and no way to turn off messaging. There are some in-app purchase opportunities, but they're not essential.

What kids can learn

What Kids Can Learn

Running With Friends wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Running With Friends wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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What's it about?

Players run from the bulls in this take on the endless runner, with little variation in the controls. Swiping the screen from side to side turns corners, whereas swiping backward or forward causes your character to jump over or slide under obstacles. It's not an advanced game but rather one that tests the player's reflexes. Players collect coins to buy power-ups and costumes from the game's store.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

One of the problems with the endless-running games was it was an entirely solo experience. That was fine most of the time, but you never really knew how you stacked up against an opponent. By adding that ingredient, Zynga has found a way to revitalize the genre. 

Running With Friends sounds like an exercise app, but it blends the best of the many Temple Run-like games in app stores everywhere with the boosts Zynga uses so well in its other "With Friends" titles. Blend in the ability to play against Facebook friends (as well as strangers), and it's something that will keep you coming back to play again. (It doesn't hurt that the bulls are adorable.) 

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free-$3.99
Release date:May 14, 2013
Category:Action Games
Size:46.00 MB
Publisher:Zynga
Version:1.51
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of Running with Friends was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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