Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Runers Game Poster Image
Difficult dungeon-crawler has mild fantasy violence.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game rewards practice, perseverance, and experimentation, but its primary objective is simply to entertain players with spell-crafting fantasy violence.  

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters have no back stories and don't speak, so their motives are opaque. They're simply compelled to fight and fight and then fight some more.

Ease of Play

This is a challenging game. Controls are simple -- just move your hero around rooms and attack with spells by clicking mouse buttons or number keys -- but enemies are fast and deadly, a test for even veteran gamers' reflexes. Sooner or later your hero will die. Your goal is simply to get as far as you can before that happens.


Sorcerers fight a mix of humanoids, animals, and fantastical creatures using hundreds of types of magical attacks, ranging from fire and water spells to chunks of ground that rise from the earth. Enemies simply flash when they're hit and disappear when defeated. The action is viewed from a top-down perspective, making everything appear very small. There's no blood or gore.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Runers is a simple downloadable dungeon-crawling game with role-playing elements. Players pick a hero and an initial spell and dive into randomly generated dungeons, casting magical attacks at a mix of humanoid and fantastical enemies. The violence is mild -- the game's tiny enemies simply flash and disappear when struck and defeated -- but combat is pretty much the only thing players get into aside from combining runes to make new spells. It's also challenging. Younger kids will likely grow frustrated by the need to restart from scratch each time they die, which will be frequently.  

User Reviews

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  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous June 30, 2015

Good Game, but Not Recommended for Young Kids

[Note: Sorry about the wall of text; apparently, this system doesn't understand what 'enter' means.] Now, let's get this straight. The game... Continue reading

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What's it about?

RUNERS puts players in the shoes of a sorcerer embarking on a quest to clear a dungeon of its foul fantastical inhabitants. The adventure starts with players choosing a hero and an initial spell. They're then dropped into an empty room in the first level of a dungeon randomly generated by the game. Moving from room to room, the hero defeats foes by casting a variety of magical spells, nimbly dodging enemies and attacks all the while. Sometimes enemies drop runes, which players can collect and combine in hundreds of ways by using a simple spell-crafting module to create new and more powerful magical attacks. When heroes level up, they earn a new permanent trait that confers an advantage, such as an increase to one or more character stats. Eventually your hero will find a stairway down to another level, descend, and then start the process of exploration all over again. The goal of the game is simply to get as far into the dungeon as possible, growing more powerful and scoring more points along the way.

Is it any good?

Runers' decidedly niche appeal is twofold: crafting spells and testing your skills against hordes of computer-controlled enemies. The spell-making module is simple -- just drop runes into slots and click "combine" -- but it carries with it the thrill of discovery thanks to the vast array of spells players can invent. Then the focus shifts to figuring out how best to exploit the spell. What form does it take? How much damage does it deal? How fast is it? How wide is the area of effect?

These riddles are answered in challenging dungeon battles that demand constant strafing and precision aiming. Eventually you'll die, likely sooner rather than later. Then it starts all over again. Clearly, Runers isn't for everyone. Kids who aren't into magic and don’t enjoy fast-paced, difficult combat can safely skip it. But fantasy fans who dig tough indie games could have a lot of fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fantasy. Do you enjoy the imaginative worlds and creatures depicted in fantasy movies, books, and games? What makes fantasy so compelling to so many people?

  • Struggling through challenging tasks isn't always fun, but it can make success more satisfying. Have you ever done something that you thought was really hard and eventually achieved your goal? How did you feel?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fantasy

Themes & Topics

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