Space Run

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Space Run Game Poster Image
Tower-defense game has refreshing strategy elements.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to think critically, analyze results, and define strategies based on past performance. This game is a very cerebral experience, with players needing to fine-tune the structure of their spaceships and their battle strategies perfectly before advancing through the most difficult parts of the game. There's a lot of trial and error, especially because of the lack of tutorials within the game. But, with persistence, players will understand the concepts of strategy, puzzle solving, and critical thinking.

Positive Messages

The game's missions and story line are fairly utilitarian in nature. Nevertheless, gameplay focuses on brain-busting strategy, critical-thinking skills, and wise planning for each mission rather than gratuitous content or other distractions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Although not the stereotypical "save the world" type of hero, the game's central character exudes positive qualities such as perseverance, never backing away in the face of danger, and standing up against injustice.

Ease of Play

This game isn't excessively challenging, but the sheer level of mechanics and components that are involved in the gameplay make it anything but a piece of cake. There's a steep learning curve before players will fully grasp the complete structure of the game, and, even then, there's still a formidable level of difficulty and complexity required to progress through the various missions. Seasoned players and those willing to invest a decent amount of time to master the unique strategies involved will enjoy the depth of gameplay, but novice players should be aware this is a fairly complex title.


Fantastical space combat is the cornerstone of this game. The nature of the content makes it very detached, with the most intense depictions of violence being colorful lasers hitting various spacecraft and entities in outer space.


Flirtatious language in some dialogue (for example, "She's hot"), but nothing gratuitous or overtly sexual.


There's brief game dialogue, but it intentionally avoids offensive language by substituting made-up words. The strongest example in the game is "fracking."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Space Run is a sophisticated downloadable strategy game that's a unique blend of casual "tower defense" gameplay and complex strategy elements. It's probably most appealing to players who have experience with previous strategy games or those willing to invest a lot of time and energy into figuring out all the game's facets. Violence is limited to fantastical lasers and explosions in outer space, and, because of the cerebral nature of all the strategy elements, it's even less affecting; it's more about objectively completing a mission than shooting down enemies. There's some mild, made-up swearing -- such as "fracking" -- and flirting is evident in the game's dialogue.

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What's it about?

SPACE RUN is set in the year 2525, where space travel and intergalactic cargo deliveries have become commonplace. Players take the role of Captain Buck Mann, who transports materials across galaxies. Players must not only meander their way through adversary-infested deep space, they also must build their own ships for every cargo delivery, making sure to place turrets and defense mechanisms throughout to ensure a safe ride through space.

Is it any good?

Space Run blends two genres that previously haven't really been mixed: tower defense and real-time strategy (RTS). Tower-defense games, in which players set up turrets and defenses to protect their territory from oncoming attacks, are usually treated as casual video game fare, meant to be easy to pick up and play. RTS games, meanwhile, are historically known for being only for truly hardened veteran gamers who are willing to devote their entire focus on building and organizing in-game assets for combat. It's this refreshingly unique -- and frankly unexpected -- blend of gameplay styles that makes Space Run enticing to even the most cynical and jaded player. It makes the game a bit less universally appealing than a straightforward tower-defense game, but it also introduces sophisticated and rewarding gameplay styles to an audience that might usually turn away from games with a similar structure.

The game also has a good level of "replayability" because of the score-based nature of each mission. Players are always encouraged to redo previous missions with the hopes of getting higher scores. Ultimately, this game achieves something few titles are able to: It introduces a completely new and unique gameplay style. Those willing to overcome the tough learning curve will enjoy the refreshing and fun experience Space Run provides.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the fantastical violence in Space Run. Do you think this title is violent? Is the content justified? Does it have more or less impact than violence in other games? Why?

  • What other games do you play that require a great deal of strategy? Can you see those skills being applied in real life?

  • What do you think the world will be like 500 years in the future?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love space

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