River Run is a fun vertical scrolling shooter from Run Productions that plays like a modern remake of Activision's River Raid, although there is no acknowledgement anywhere in the game. Your objective: fly a jet over a river, being careful not to go over land lest your aircraft blows up. Along the way, you have to shoot all of the helicopters, planes, ships, and bridges to make it to the end of the level. You also have to worry about refueling your jet every once in a while by flying over one of the oil patches in the river. Two player games are supported using a split screen.
As in River Raid, River Run requires both reflexes and strategy to win. Your fuel decreases at a constant rate, so you can fly fast or slow with the same amount of fuel. While fire can cause damage to your plane, it not always does that, so you can often choose whether to fly over fires and risk damage, or dodge the fires and run into something else entirely. Although there is no speed limit in the game, it takes longer to decelerate and you have less reaction time when you are flying very fast. The game gives you only 4 bombs for the entire game, so you must use these special weapons wisely. There are many opportunities in the game to score points, which are important because they determine how good and how many power-ups you will get at the end of a zone. So you must choose your route carefully; for example, if one channel of a river has all gunboats, and the other is lined with choppers, choose the chopper route if you need points, because a chopper is worth twice the points of a gunboat. Jets and fighters are worth even more, but naturally they are harder to kill. Flying over an exploding carrier will almost always cause major damage to your plane, but the carrier is worth the most points. In two-player mode, each player has unlimited lives, and here your goal is just to beat him/her to the finish line.
With nice VGA graphics, intuitive controls, and fun gameplay, River Run succeeds in modernizing River Raid for the '90s, introducing the fun to new generation of gamers - and reacquainting oldtimers with a true class. Highly recommended!
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