Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword from XperimentalZ Games is not your average run and jump game, although it does fall into the genre of side-scrolling platformer on rails. There is a comic book style look and story to the game, and a comical side brought about by the game not taking itself too seriously. If you’ve ever wished that Mario could be some kind of Olympic sprinter Jedi, then don’t miss this game (even if you haven’t had that perfectly normal fantasy, Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword is worth checking out).
While you may begin Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword as a mild mannered magazine stand worker, when aliens show up to invade Earth out comes the plasma sword and running, sliding, jumping and diving take over as your activities while you rid the rooftops and the world of the alien invaders. The story is told in comic book-esque fashion with word bubbles attached to graphics. The story is more ridiculous than anything else, but that adds to the fun and entertainment of the game.
Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword gives players the equivalent of a light saber and some impressive and beyond human moves as you take on the roles of both free runner, jumping, diving and sliding over and under obstacles, and alien hunter, slashing, skewering and generally laying to waste any aliens you come across. The speed at which the game constantly keeps you moving leaves little room for error and lots of room for frustration. However, after making through a particularly difficult segment of obstacles, you do get the glorified feeling of being one heck of an alien slayer.
Collecting power ups, killing aliens and earning achievements as you run through the boards will net you experience, which can be used to unlock new stages or customize your character’s abilities, hair color, clothes and sword color. After you finally die in a run, you’ll have the opportunity to spend your experience points and view your stats from the run. Information like the distance traveled, experience earned and aliens killed can be viewed and compared to your best run.
There are two different modes of play in Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword. The Story Mode has the runs broken into segments that can basically be viewed as checkpoints. By reaching a new segment, you get an experience boost and a new place to start from when you die. After making it through enough segments, you’ll encounter a boss battle. The boss battles seem to be a nod to classic arcade gaming by requiring you to systematically dodge the boss’s attacks until an opportunity presents itself to counter. Also, the story progresses as you defeat bosses in the Story Mode. In Endless Mode, you’re running to gain specific achievements that earn you large chunks of experience. There are no bosses of segments in Endless Mode, but there are different stages to unlock that get progressively more difficult.
Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword is an addictive game that keeps players coming back by including a wide range of aliens, various power ups to find in levels and plenty of character upgrades to earn. While you’ll always find yourself running in the same direction in levels, the platform heights vary, which means it’s not always such a linear path. At times you’ll be surprised to realize that there had been a whole different course you could have taken above or below. This greatly helps the replay value and even on a tough board a player can always keep looking for a better way through while they work for that next upgrade.