Running with Friends

App review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
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Popular game genre gets fun twist with social features.

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

Educational Value

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

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.


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. 


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

What 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.

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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?

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
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and arcade games

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