Runny Egg is a strange little game. The Nintendo eShop has quite a lot of silly sounding games that most people pass right over. With titles like Jet Dog, Flap Flap, and I Love My Horse, it’s easy to start dismissing a large number of eShop games as ridiculous wastes of time. At first glance, Runny Egg seems like one of these games. The title is ridiculous, the premise is silly, and the game’s eShop description (“Take control of an egg with legs and run as fast as you can… to reach the egg stand at the end!”) doesn’t make it any more appealing. However, if you actually download the game and give it a shot, it’s surprisingly fun – and it’s definitely worth its incredibly low price of $1.99.
Runny Egg casts you as an egg with legs. Your goal, as a small egg creature, is to make your way to the “egg stand” at the end of each stage. Between you and the egg stand are enemies, obstacles, and a gratuitous amount of rubber ducks (called chicks). When you finish a stage, you’ll be granted “egg points,” which can then be used to “evolve” your egg – you can make your egg have more HP, run faster, or be more resistant to attacks and missteps that might cause the egg to break. Egg points are given after a stage is completed, and additional points can be earned if special objectives are achieved. Special objectives usually include collecting a certain amount of chicks or clearing the stage under a set time.
Let’s just get this out of the way: The game takes many of its elements from retro 2D platformers. Chicks are similar to the coins of Mario or rings of Sonic. The wall-jump ability screams Super Mario Bros., and your egg’s ability to roll into a ball and move faster after filling up a speed meter brings to mind both Sonic’s spin roll and the P-Wing item introduced in Super Maro Bros. 3. The nature-heavy, cutesy aesthetic is reminiscent of Toki Tori, though Runny Egg doesn’t reach the heights that Toki Tori‘s level design does.
Despite the obvious influences on Runny Egg, it’s the game’s sense of humor and charm that make it a fun experience. After each stage, you’ll be presented with a “Recipe du Jour” page which describes all the ways that you’ve died in the game so far in the form of recipes. There are thirty unique recipes to unlock, and trying to find more ridiculous ways to die turns out to be a pretty fun part of the game. The “Meat & Egg Bowl” is unlocked when you die of a dinosaur bite, “Egg Tofu” is unlocked after you die from running into an armadillo, and “Pancakes” are unlocked when you die from an encounter with bees. This screen also shows you what percentage of items you collected in the stage, how many times you’ve died so far (“total dishes prepared”) and the way that you’ve died most frequently. When you do die during a stage, your egg explodes and the 3D screen looks like someone just broke an egg over it. All of this should give you a pretty good indication of what kind of entertainment Runny Egg is offering: light, silly, fun entertainment.
Even the stages are silly. You’ll be faced with pirate birds, angry bulls, and rock monsters as you dash through volcanoes, ancient ruins, and dense jungles. As for why this strange egg with legs is embarking on the quest, there isn’t any explanation – but it’s a lot of fun anyway. Runny Egg is a cheap, fun distraction for anyone looking to take a break from the darkness of games like Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker or the complexity of games like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. For such a low price, Runny Egg is a silly but worthy addition to the Nintendo eShop.